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JK: SIT seeks custody of BSF officer, 13 troopers

February 15, 2010 14:11 IST

A Special Investigation Team has demanded custody of senior BSF officer R K Birdi and 13 other personnel of the paramilitary force after a teenager was killed in a firing by them, triggering massive protests in Srinagar.

The SIT is probing the incident in which 16-year-old Zahid Farooq Shah was shot by constable Lakhvinder Kumar on February 5 at Brain-Nishat in the Jammu and Kashmir capital.

Birdi has been shunted out from his battalion and moved to the headquarters in Sanatnagar after allegations by Kumar that he was "forced" to open fire at the teenager by the Commandant.

A formal letter seeking their custody has been sent to BSF authorities by the SIT, police sources said on Monday.

They said the SIT headed by SSP Srinagar Javid Reyaz Bedar felt the need to seek the custody of all the 14 BSF men to bring out the facts.

While Birdi has been shunted and Kumar suspended, the 12 other BSF personnel have been moved out to separate locations of the force to prevent them from influencing the inquiry headed by IG BSF (North-East) Ramesh Singh.

The BSF has already handed over Kumar to police after internal inquiry prima facie found him involved in the boy's killing. The court of chief judicial magistrate, Srinagar, sent him to eight-day police remand on February 11.

Shah's killing was strongly protested by the local people who forced a strike for almost a week demanding action against the guilty. Shops, business establishments, banks, courts and private offices remained closed and vehicles were off the roads for six days.
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