Family desperately awaits release of minor son

Sumayyah Qureshi

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 21

For the past 12 days, a family in the Zoonimar area of Srinagar has been awaiting the release of its son, who as per them is a minor.

A resident of Kokerbagh in Zoonimar, the 17-year old boy was picked up by the police on August 10 and has been detained at the Soura police station. His family said the boy had gone to graze sheep before Eid when the police picked him up. They said he was not part of any protest.

The family has been making the rounds of the police station and meeting the officers concerned but they have only been receiving assurances for the past two weeks.

“There are no charges of stone-throwing against him and he is not involved in any activity. He is clear,” said a relative of the boy. “There is no one who will listen to us or whom we can ask for help. We are living in difficult times.”

The family alleged that the police were dilly-dallying, which was delaying his release. The family said they had been told by the police that the boy, a school dropout, would be released in a day or two, but they would only believe it when he comes home.

The four-member family shares the house with their relatives. It does not have enough means to sustain. A small room, which serves as their kitchen, bedroom and drawing room, is all they have and all their belongings are crammed into it. The family, which lives in penury, says making two ends meet is getting difficult. “For the past 12 days, I have been occupied with my son. I have not been able to do any work. I am a poor man,” said the boy’s father.

The boy’s mother said: “We want our son back. That is all we want.” She said the family is allowed to meet him in the police station but they don’t understand why he is not being released. 

“We took homemade food for him on Eid. I went to meet him again on Tuesday. The police allow us to meet him but we don’t know when he will be released,” the boy’s mother added.

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