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Juvenile lobbed grenade in Jammu

By Sumir Kaul
Last updated on: March 08, 2019 16:09 IST
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A teenager -- who allegedly lobbed a grenade at the Jammu bus stand, killing two men -- is under 16 years of age.

He told interrogators he was paid Rs 50,000 by a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist for it, officials said on Friday.

IMAGE: Police personnel inspect the site after a powerful explosion at a bus stand in Jammu. Photograph: PTI Photo

This signals that terror groups have again started using underage boys to create terror in Jammu and Kashmir.

The boy, who will turn 16 on March 12, was apprehended while fleeing after hurling the grenade at the bus stand that left two men dead and 31 others injured on Thursday.

 

During interrogation, the juvenile told the police that he had been paid Rs 50,000 by a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist to hurl the grenade, the officials said.

The officials said his Aadhaar card and other identity proof, including school records, show his date of birth as March 12, 2003.

The interrogators will conduct an age test on the boy before initiating legal proceedings against him, they said.

According to the investigators, Fayaz, the self-styled district chief of Kulgam's Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, passed a grenade onto a Hizb worker named Muzammil to lob at a crowded place anywhere in Jammu.

Muzammil developed cold feet and refused to throw it. He was then instructed to pass on the grenade to the boy.

A picture of the juvenile was shown to Muzammil who is in police custody. He identified him as the person who had received the grenade, the officials said.

This was the third grenade attack by terrorists on the Jammu bus stand since May 2018 and came three weeks after the Pulwama terror strike on February 14 that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans, bringing India and Pakistan on brink of war.

The attack was carried out around 11.50 am resulting in the death of Mohammad Sharik, 17, and injuries to 32 others, including 11 from the valley, 10 from Jammu and others from outside the state.

Another person identified as Mohammad Riyaz succumbed to his injuries on Friday morning.

The arrest of the juvenile indicated that terror groups will deploy underage boys to hurl grenades as they can escape stringent punishment under the law.

The boy is the eldest among three children. He studies in Class 9 and his father is a painter by profession.

Under the law, he will be sent to a juvenile home. The state government could file a petition before an appropriate court asking for his trial under stringent anti-terror law provisions.

Terror groups in the state hired underaged boys in early 2000 who were used to throw grenades at security forces for monetary considerations.

The practice ended by 2009 after the police carried out effective counselling of parents in areas infested by terrorism.

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Sumir Kaul
Source: PTI© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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