13-yr-old shot dead for trespassing in Army area
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Last Updated: Monday, July 04, 2011, 00:48
Zeenews Bureau

Chennai: In a heart wrenching incident, a 13-year-old boy was shot dead, allegedly by Army personnel while trying to trespass into an Army compound here on Sunday, according to a news report by a private television news channel.

The Army, however, denied the allegation that its personnel shot at Dilshan when he tried to pluck some fruits from the residential quarters in the premises.

The boy later succumbed to injuries at a government hospital, police said.

City Additional Commissioner (Law and Order) P Thamaraikannan said that a case has been registered and investigations are on into the incident.

However there are conflicting versions about who killed the boy. One report says the boy was shot at by a police man whereas an another report says the boy was shot at by an Army jawan.

Thamaraikannan assured that action would be taken against those involved in the case.

The incident has evoked a huge protest in the area. The protesters pelted stones at the Army compound and demanded a detailed inquiry into the issue. They also demanded to sack the Army official or the policeman responsible for the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa alleged Army personnel's role in the boy's death and announced Rs 5 lakh compensation to his family.

Strongly condemning the firing at the teenager, the Chief Minister said the jawan could have easily made out that the boy was "not an extremist or a terrorist."

"This is not acceptable," she said, adding her government has written to the General Officer Commanding here to hand over the guilty jawan to the state police for further investigation.

Earlier, Dilshan was admitted to the ICU of a government hospital here even as irate residents strongly protested against the incident.

The Army termed the incident as "very unfortunate," and said it would not allow the guilty to go scot free.

"We have constituted a board of officers to carry out a proper search of the area including the houses adjoining the scene of the incident. The process of search is going on in detail," Brigadier (Administration) Sashi Nair told reporters.

He said sniffer dogs have been deployed and officials from the forensic department were already on the job.

"In our colony here and in fact in all our colonies we don't have any armed guard. Even if you see now at the main gate, we have outsourced (the security) to civilians. They have only a stick in their hand. There is no weapon that is authorised to come into any of these colonies," he said, dismissing allegations by the boy's relatives that the Army had opened fire at him.

Nair said checking was being done all over the place and no weapon was found in the colony so far. The entire area has been cordoned off and none is being allowed to go out.

"In this colony there is no armed guard. Whether a civilian has shot (at the boy), whether an army man has shot, whether a policeman has shot, I cannot comment at this stage...," he said, expressing regret over this incident.

With PTI inputs

First Published: Monday, July 04, 2011, 00:48

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