Kulgam boy's family vouches for his 'innocence'

The family of a Kulgam boy who was arrested by the police on the outskirts of Jammu on charges of lobbing a grenade in the winter capital vouched for his innocence on Friday and said they are clueless on how their son travelled to the place “within a few hours.”

The 14-year-old boy was arrested by the Nagrota police on Thursday afternoon, hours after a powerful grenade blast ripped through the general bus stand Jammu, killing two persons and causing injuries to 31 others.

Following the boy’s arrest, inspector general of police Jammu, M K Sinha, said the arrest was made on the basis of available CCTV footage and the oral testimony of the witnesses at the site of the attack.

The IGP further claimed that on his sustained questioning, the accused confessed to his crime and “revealed that he was tasked with throwing the grenade by Farooq Ahmed Bhat alias Umar, a district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen in Kulgam district.”

However, the family of the teenager, residing at Khanpora-Desen village in Yaripora area, is shell-shocked and vouching for his innocence.

“We have no clue how our son, a class 9 student at a private school in Yaripora, managed to travel the same day he left from his maternal home,” said a family member, adding:  “He (boy) had gone to his maternal home in nearby Hangalgush village on Wednesday and stayed there for a night. Next morning he had left his maternal home for tuitions.”

Since he did return home, “we presumed he might have stayed at Hangalgush itself”.

“The maternal family members, in turn, presumed that he might have returned to his home at Desen. So, they also did not look for him,” the family member said.

He said the family learned about his arrest yesterday evening through social media and television.

“We were left shell-shocked after learning about his arrest from Jammu. He has never traveled alone to Anantnag or Srinagar. How would he travel to Jammu that too within a few hours?” the family members asked.

“My son is innocent. He has no connection with militancy. There is no case against him in police records and neither has he ever been arrested,” said the detained boy’s mother.

She appealed to the state government to probe the case and deliver justice.