The grenade attack at Jammu bus stop wounded 33 people and killed two innocent men. Both victim (Mohammad Sharik and Mohammad Riyaz) shared a common thread.
Sharik (17), a resident of Haridwar in Uttarakhand, was on his way to Kashmir where he was working as a tailor for several years after the death of his father, while Riyaz (32) was returning home in south Kashmir, after five months, from Rajasthan where he was working as a shawl seller.
Both of them were among the 33 persons injured in the grenade attack at a crowded bus stand in the heart of Jammu on Thursday morning.
While Sharik succumbed to splinter injuries within hours of the incident at the Government Medical College Hospital, Riyaz breathed his last in the wee hours of Friday.
The attacker did this before his 13th birthday, He is in 9th standard
On Friday, the school record of the accused revealed that his birth date was March 10, 2006. “This is to certify that… is a student of class 9th. His date of birth as per school records is as under 10-3-2006,” reads a certificate issued by the principal of a school in Kulgam district, where the accused is enrolled. The Indian Express accessed a copy of the certificate issued by the school on Friday.
At a press conference in Jammu on Thursday, senior police officers led by IGP Jammu M K Sinha had presented the accused before the media and revealed all his details. When asked why this was done for an accused who seemed to be a juvenile, the police said they “were not aware about his age”.
“We didn’t know his age and we still don’t know (his age),” Sinha told The Indian Express on Friday.
The attacker (juvenile) revealed shocking things during interrogation
During interrogation, the juvenile told the police that he had been paid Rs 50,000 by a Hizbul Mujahideen militant for throwing the grenade, the officials said.
The officials said his Aadhaar card and other identity proofs, including school records, show his date of birth as March 12, 2003.
The interrogators will now conduct an age test on the boy before initiating legal proceedings against him, they said.
According to the investigators, self-styled district chief of Kulgam’s Hizbul Mujahideen outfit Fayaz had passed on a grenade to an overground worker, Muzammil, for lobbing at a crowded place anywhere in Jammu.
Muzammil had developed cold feet and refused to throw it. He was then instructed to pass on the grenade to the boy who was codenamed “chotu”.
The picture of juvenile was shown to Muzammil, who is at present in police custody, and he identified him as the person who had received the grenade, the officials said.
This was the third grenade attack by terrorists on Jammu bus stand since May last and it comes just three weeks after the Pulwama terror strike on February 14 that killed 40 CRPF 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 and injuries to 32 others, including 11 from the Valley, 10 from Jammu and others from outside the state. One more person identified as Mohammad Riyaz succumbed to his injuries this morning.
The arrest of juvenile indicated that militant groups will be using underage boys for throwing grenades as they can escape the stringent punishment from law.
The boy is the eldest among the three children. He was studying in class ninth and his father is a painter by profession.
As per the law, he will be sent to a juvenile home and the state government might file a petition before an appropriate court asking for his trial under stringent anti-terror law provisions.
Terror groups in the state had been hiring underaged boys in early 2000 who were used for throwing grenades at security forces for a handsome monetary considerations.
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