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14-year-old boy killed in Jammu-Kashmir crossfire buried far from home
In a first such instance, the body of a civilian killed in a brief shootout in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district was not handed over to his family but buried at an isolated place, officials said on Wednesday.
Mohammad Hazim Bhat, 14, was killed in a brief shootout when militants opened fire on a CRPF patrol party at Wangam-Qaziabad in Kralgund area of the north Kashmir district on Monday.
Three CRPF jawans were killed in the incident, police said, adding a civilian, Bhat, was also found dead at the scene of the incident.
However, the body of Bhat -- a resident of Wanagam -- was not handed over to his family and instead was laid to rest in a graveyard more than 30 kilometres away from his village, the officials said.
"The teenager was buried at Sheeri (in neighbouring Baramulla district)," they said.
The officials said there was an apprehension of a gathering at Bhat's funeral, "which would have violated the lockdown protocols".
A few members from Bhat's family were present at the burial at Sheeri.
"We asked the authorities to handover the body to the family so that Hazim would have been buried at his ancestral graveyard, but they refused, saying there were orders and guidelines that the body will not be handed over to the family," a relative of the deceased said.
He said Bhat -- who was a Class 7 student -- was buried at Sheeri on Tuesday and 17-18 members of the family attended his funeral.
The relative said Bhat had to buried somewhere and "whatever they (authorities) did is right. It is better for him".
In the past few weeks, the J and K Police has not been handing over bodies of militants, including locals, to their families "because of the lockdown".
The militants killed in gunfights have been buried at isolated locations in Baramulla and Ganderbal districts.
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