In Kashmir, where stone-pelting has emerged as a major security concern, the Police has now touched a new low by labeling a nine-year-old schoolboy as a “hardcore” stone-pelter.

On April 28, 2017, the Jammu and Kashmir Police arrested a grade 3 student of SSM School Noorbagh, Srinagar on the charges of stone pelting and other violence. The accused was whisked away to the nearby Safa Kadal Police Station, where a FIR vide number 59 of 2017 was filed against him under Sections 147, 148, 149, 152, 427 and  336 of the Ranbir Penal Code.

The cops claim that they have a substantial video evidence to prove his involvement in numerous incidents of stone-pelting in the summer capital. “We don’t exactly know whether a boy of this tender age resorts to stone pelting out of (indoctrination, conviction), or for the sake of fun, but yes he has been behaving like a hardcore stone-pelter because video footage and intelligence inputs of street protests suggest so,” a police official privy to the case told InUth.com.

The cops also added that usually children are not arrested for stone-pelting. “We first contact their parents asking them to mend the ways of their wards but when Plan-A fails, we have no options but to apply Plan-B which is detention of these kids and sending them to juvenile homes.”

The Police said that the same was applied in the case of this boy. However, the family denies the police claims.

The boy is an orphan, while his mother is ailing and bedridden. His uncle Ghulam Nabi claims that the child has been falsely implicated by the cops. “My nephew is not a stone-pelter. He was arrested by the Police and detained at the police station when he was actually out for tuitions. He has been falsely implicated as a scapegoat.”

Refuting the family claims, the cops say that Kashmir has been witnessing numerous such incidents where kids are openly involved in stone-pelting.  “The inflow of such cases in the honorable court of law is so huge that now a court in Srinagar has kept a separate officer for juvenile cases of stone pelting so that such cases get a speedy trial.”

One such local Court on May 2 i.e yesterday accepted the bail application filed by the family of the nine-yr-old. The Police say that he has been released on the bail bond of Rs 20,000.

But given the edgy situation in the Valley, the cops say that the Education department needs to start special awareness programs like holding of seminars to counter incitement of kids towards stone pelting.