Conflict

Killing of Hajin boy: Who said what

Atif's friend mourning his passage. (Photo: Basit Zargar)

Srinagar: On 22nd March, in three gunfights, five militants were killed by armed forces. Around 33 kilometres North of Srinagar, in Hajin a 12-year-old boy Atif Ahmed Mir was also killed inside his home where two militants had taken shelter.

For two days, the gunfight was going on. While rest of the family had escaped, Atif, according to the police, was “kept hostage by the militants”. Even the family can be seen in a video ‘pleading the militants’ to let the boy go.

His killing evoked outrage, with locals, Human Rights activists, resistance leaders, mainstream politicians and netizens condemning it.

“This is not jihad (armed crusade) but jahalat (benighted),” a village elder was reported to have said to the militants while appealing them to release Atif. A complete shutdown is being observed in Hajin town of Baramulla district to mourn the minor’s killing.

Militants and armed forces are both responsible for this murder, said Khurram Parvez, a prominent Kashmiri human rights activist.

Chairman of the Hurriyat (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed sadness over the way Atif was killed.

The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) also condemned Atif’s killing while protesting against the custodial death of Rizwan Pandit, a school principal.

“Killings of innocents is going on unabated and as we are still mourning the custodial death of Rizwan Pandit, one more innocent boy Atif Mir along with many others has been killed with impunity in north Kashmir,” JKLF vice chairman Showkat Ahmad Bakhshi had said.

The Srinagar Mayor, Junaid Azim Mattu had called it heart-wrenching news while asking, “How long will civilians die as acceptable collateral?”


President of People’s Democratic Party and former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti in her reaction said that there is no method in this madness and the future looks bleak.


Omar Abdullah, National Conference Vice President, too took to his twitter handle to react over the incident.

Peoples Conference Chief Sajad Lone called the incident ‘pure terror.’

Former bureaucrat Shah Faesal said that ‘Kashmiris are being killed by both sides without impunity.


While some Kashmiri netizens condemned the killing, some questioned the police version of the boy being used as a  hostage by the militants.

Commenting on Hassan’s post, another netizen wrote, “Do you really believe the hostage story? I don’t think we know the truth.”

 

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