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BSF admits killing Kashmir boy, by mistake

The Border Security Force (BSF) has admitted that it killed a schoolboy outside Srinagar on February 6–the first such confession by security forces in the state.

Zahid Farooq Sheikh, 16, was killed when BSF opened fire on a group of people in Nishat area of Srinagar.

“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,” said P P S Sandhu, Special Director General (DG) of the BSF.

“We have decided to hand over the jawan to the local police for further investigations. The Jammu and Kashmir Police will do the investigation which will reveal everything.”

Lakhwinder Kumar has been suspended and questioned by senior BSF officers, said sources. Sandhu said investigations till now had found that Zahid died due to a bullet fired at him by the jawan from an AK-47 rifle. PTI reports officers in the paramilitary force have termed the killing as an “accident”.

Kumar’s unit was posted in Gulmarg sector of the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan and it was in Nishat on Friday. Inspector General of Police Farooq Ahmad confirmed that BSF authorities had handed over the trooper to the police.

Kashmiris had reacted with outrage after an eyewitness clamed that Sheikh was killed by a BSF trooper.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has ordered a probe into Sheikh’s death.

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