2000 held for 'poll peace'

Pulwama shuts as PSA slapped on 14-year-old; Family member attempt suicide

Move court if you think Sofi is not a notorious stone pelter, Police tells Sofi's kin

SRINAGAR: Ahead of the last leg of phased parliamentary poll in Kashmir, the police appears unrelenting in the crackdown on young boys. While the authorities have admitted more than a thousand arrests to “ensure peaceful elections”, rights bodies on Monday disclosed over two thousand boys have been rounded up from various districts. Some of them have been booked under the notorious PSA (Public Safety Act).

Meanwhile family members of a detained young boy from Pulwama Monday attempted to set themselves on fire but were saved by the local residents. A class 8 student Waseem Sofi son of Bashir Sofi resident of Dangarpora Pulwama has been booked by police under PSA on charges of stone-pelting. The accused has already been shifted to Khutua jail, reports said.

Quoting eyewitnesses, a report by newsgathering agency CNS said that the family members of the accused appeared near Rajpora chowk in Pulwama on Monday morning and staged a protest there. They were demanding the immediate revocation of PSA and release of the youth. Reports said that some of the family members tried to set themselves on fire after sprinkling kerosene on their bodies but the locals intervened and aborted their bid to self-immolate.

The incident enraged the local youth who later threw stones causing damage to at least six vehicles. “Youth pelted stones on the shops as well and forced shopkeepers to down their shutters. The vehicular traffic also halted due to the ensuing tensions, “ the agency quoted an eyewitness Sajad Ahmed as said.

While trying to pacify the agitated villagers, the DySP Headquarters asked protestors to move court if they believed their kin was innocent.

Reports said that police and CRPF personnel were deployed in large numbers in the town to thwart any kind of protests.

According to Police PSA had been slapped on the accused for being  “a notorious stone pelter and not the first time offender.” But the family members insisted that Waseem was not even an adult. “He does not even know what is stone pelting,” said one of his relatives.

Meanwhile police has refuted the reports that Sofi’s family tried to self-immolate saying,”“We were present on spot and no family member tried to sprinkle kerosene on his body.”

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