Guwahati: A 17-year-old who was shot dead in an alleged firing incident yesterday while he was returning from the venue where protest against CAB was being carried out was had burial today.
Locals who have attended the procession hailed the teenager identified as Sam Stafford as a martyr after he sustaining bullet injury at Namgarh area, News18 reports.
Singer Zubeen Garg was performing in solidarity with protestors against the Citizenship Amendment Act at the Latasil playground while the teenager was rerturning home from the Latasil playground.
According to reports, a some individuals in a four-wheeler had fired at the people in dark late evening at Namgarh.
A senior police official said the incident is being investigated and the allegations of the family are being looked into
“My son was a talented drummer and had gone to Latasil playground to listen to Zubeen as he was a big fan,” the teenager’s 45-year-old father Biju Stafford told PTI.
“He was returning home and was walking beside a group of anti-CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) protesters when the firing incident happened. The bullet hit him,” he said.
Sam was immediately rushed to a hospital in Hatigaon from where he was sent to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital said his mother Mamoni Stafford (38).
The teenager’s sister Mousumi Begum was in a state of shock for she was the first person to learn about Sam’s injury in the family.
“I called up Tutu (Sam’s nickname) on his number. Someone else picked up the call who did not recognise me. I thought it was a cross connection so I disconnected. Sometime later, I called up again. And a doctor (at GMCH) picked up the phone and told me that my brother was in a critical condition and asked us to rush to the hospital,” the wailing sister recalls.
“Sam (a high schoolboy) was an innocent boy. He did not even fully understand the CAB issue. He had gone there just because he loved music. He just wanted to listen to Zubeen. Though we had advised him not to go as the situation was not good,” she said.
He received the burial of a martyr with police turning up to help the family.
“Along the way at Namgarh, people lit up candles in memory of my son,” Biju said.
Local artistes and activists of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had also attended his burial ceremony today.
People also held out the traditional Assamese Gamocha bearing slogans “No CAA”, “Shaheed Pranam Tomak. Martyr! We salute you” in the air.
“A local AASU leader made a speech in Assamese and urged people that no protests should be held after sunset as some anti-social elements are trying to give a bad colour to our movement,” said Swapnav Jyoti Baishya Soud, a lawyer at Gauhati High Court.
Sam’s sister Mousumi said, “My brother was a budding drummer, always admired Jubin and it was heartening that the singer came to our home”.