6 boys heading to PoK nabbed by people at Kupwara3 May 2010
The Daily Excelsior
Srinagar: A group of five teenagers and a 12 year-old boy from Pattan area of Baramulla district were apprehended by local residents in a village at Kupwara while they were allegedly on their way to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) for receiving training in handling of arms and ammunition. The boys - all hailing from Tantray Mohalla of Palhalan village in Pattan tehsil - were found by the residents of Regipora in Kupwara inside the local mosque under suspicious circumstances last night, official sources said. As the boys looked 'out of place' and no one from the village or adjoining areas recognized them, the residents decided to hand over the boys to local police. During questioning by police, the boys confessed that they were lured into joining militancy by a man in their native village in Palhalan, the sources said, adding the boys had reached Regipora and were waiting for another man to take them across the Line of Control into PoK. The boys have been identified as 12-year-old Abdul Rashid Sheikh son of Farooq Ahmad, Mohammad Yaqoob Bhat son of Ghulam Mohammad, Mohammad Saleem Sheikh son of Abdul Ahad, Omar Sultan Mir son of Mohammad Sultan, Ishtiyaq Ahmad Tantray son of Habibullah and Shariq Ahmad Mir son of Showkat Ahmad (all 13 years old). While Abdul Rashid and Mohammad Yaqoob were studying in sixth standard, the other four boys were students of seventh standard. The boys were lodged at police station Kupwara for the night and shifted to Baramulla district police headquarters in the morning. They were taken by a police team from Pattan police station to their native village and handed over to the parents, the sources said, adding no case was registered against the boys in view of their young age. The incident has set the alarm bells ringing among the security agencies as it has shown that the militants are now resorting to recruitment of minor boys to carry on the violent struggle in the State, the sources said. Earlier this year, eight teenagers from Shopian district in South Kashmir were arrested by police at Parimpora in the city while they were on their way to PoK with similar motive of joining militant ranks. Meanwhile, violent clashes between protestors and police continued in some areas of Sopore town for the second day today over the alleged killing of two local youth in a 'fake encounter' at Machhil in Kupwara district last week. The sources said groups of youth pelted stones at police personnel at Arampora and main chowk Sopore intermittently through the day. Police used tear smoke shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse the protestors but in vain. Officials said there were no reports of anyone getting injured in the stone-pelting or police action but local residents claimed that several civilians were hurt in tear smoke shelling. Meanwhile, photographs of the three militants killed at Machhil were shown to the relatives of those youth reported missing from Batapora area but none of them has been identified as a local, the officials said. .