JK Juvenile Board rejects medical reports suggesting grenade thrower as ‘adult’

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Jammu, Mar 13:
Juvenile Board of Jammu and Kashmir has rejected medical reports suggesting that the teenager allegedly involved in a grenade attack in Jammu last week was in fact an “adult”, officials said on Wednesday. The board has sought for all school records of the accused which it suspects to be a minor. The officials said that the reports of the bone and teeth test conducted on the accused showed that his age was around 19 years and it had sought 10 days of remand which was rejected by the board. The Juvenile Board asked the police to submit all relevant documents from the school after which a decision would be taken, they said. The ‘juvenile’ was nabbed immediately after he allegedly threw the grenade at the Jammu bus stand that left two people dead and 29 injured on March 7. During his initial interrogation, the ‘juvenile’ had said that he was paid Rs 50,000 by a Hizbul Mujahideen militant for it. While the medical tests claims his age to be 19 years and more, one set of documents recovered from him show that he turned 16 on Tuesday and another show that he turned 14. 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 the ‘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. The ‘teenager’ is the eldest among three children. Son of a painter, he was studying in class 9. Last Thursday’s was the third grenade attack by terrorists on Jammu bus stand since May last year and it came just three weeks after the Pulwama terror strike on February 14 that killed 40 CRPF jawans. 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 last Friday. The detention of the ‘juvenile’ indicated that militant groups will be using underage boys for throwing grenades as they can escape the stringent punishment from law, sources said. Terror groups in the state hired under-aged boys in early 2000 who were used for throwing grenades at security forces for handsome monetary considerations. However, the practice had come to an end by 2009 after police carried out effective counselling of parents in areas highly-infested by terrorism.
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