Three teenaged boys who inadvertently walked into an ambush laid by security forces in the Kupwara area of Jammu and Kashmir were killed by forces who mistook them to be militants, the police said.
We will all rush to the boys' defence, and rightfully so. They were little boys, one of them a student of Standard VI. That was when I had discovered the greatest book ever written for boys: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Death had no business hovering around these boys.
But also spare a thought for the security personnel. They work in a state of paranoia, suspicion and fear round the clock. Anyone - a pregnant woman, a young man - or anything - a transistor radio, a bag - could be the end of their lives.
Back in 1999, the NYPD got entangled (link to Wikipedia) in a similar mistaken-identity killing. There was a lot of noise in the media about racial profiling, but the policemen were acquitted by the jury.
But we are talking about Kashmir. Is anyone watching the watchmen?