SRINAGAR, Aug 3: A day after three grenades exploded in north Kashmir’s Sopore town, the Jammu and Kashmir Police Thursday claimed they were tossed by young boys working with the Laskhar-e-Toiba.
The grenade attacks on the police station and CRPF camps injured three people, damaged several vehicles and spread panic in Sopore.
Soon after the attacks, the police blamed the Lashkar-e-Toiba, and on Thursday, investigators said they were surprised to find the grenades were lobbed by minor boys, allegedly working for the militant outfit. “We identified the boys as the CCTV footage clearly shows them throwing grenades at the police station,” said a police officer investigating the case.
SP, Sopore, Imtiyaz Ahmad said they have picked up two of the boys, aged 12 and 13 years, for questioning. “So far we have not arrested them,” he added. Search is on for the third boy seen in the CCTV footage.
This is the first time, the police said, that minor boys have been found involved in militant activities in Sopore, a militant stronghold for long.
The police, sources said, are investigating whether the boys voluntarily helped the militants or were paid.
They are also trying to find out whether militants “have recruited more young boys to throw grenades in the town”.
“This is a very dangerous trend that minors are being used by militants to throw grenades on security installations,” the investigating officer said.
(The author is Srinagar-based correspondent, The Indian Express)