BSF trooper in police custody for killing Srinagar teenager

Srinagar, Feb 10 (Calcutta Tube) The Border Security Force (BSF) Wednesday suspended a trooper and handed him over to the Jammu and Kashmir police after admitting that he was ‘prima facie’ involved in the killing of 16-year-old Zahid Farooq Sheikh here last Friday, an incident that triggered violent protests in the valley.

‘Prima facie evidence has proved the involvement of Lakhwinder Kumar, a jawan of 68 battalion of BSF, in the shootout that resulted in the death of Zahid Farooq Sheikh of Nishat here Friday,’ P.P.S. Sandhu, special director general (DG) BSF, said.

Sandhu said that preliminary investigations revealed that Zahid had died due to a bullet fired at him by the trooper from an AK-47 rifle.

The unit to which Lakhwinder belonged was posted in Gulmarg sector of the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. He had gone to the Nishat suburb of Srinagar for a medical check-up when the incident occurred.

Following Wednesday’s announcement, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah held a press conference in Jammu and said that the BSF had suspended the trooper.

‘The jawan has been handed over to the state police,’ he said.

Claiming that his government had lived up to its word of ‘providing justice to the family of Zahid’, Abdullah said: ‘We believe in action and not making noises. The killer would get an exemplary punishment.’

Zahid’s killing had sparked off violent protests in the valley with the government drawing flak from all corners.

Asked if the overall situation in Kashmir had deteriorated, the chief minister said that it was a wrong impression.

‘The jurisdiction of five police stations do not constitute the valley. Only a few pockets in Srinagar were affected, rest of the valley was calm,’ he said.

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