Sikh teen in US held after classmate accused him of carrying bomb

Arrested solely based on an accusation by a 'bully', the 12-year-old American-Sikh boy was kept in jail for three days by Dallas police

Dallas: A 12-year-old American-Sikh boy was arrested on December 11 and held for three days by Dallas police after his fellow student accused him of carrying a bomb to school, said his cousin in a post on a social networking website.

Armaan Singh Sarai and cousin Ginee Haer in a photo posted by Haer on Facebook
Armaan Singh Sarai and cousin Ginee Haer in a photo posted by Haer on Facebook

As per media reports, Arlington police Lt. Christopher Cook said that another student, who has not been identified, told a teacher that Armaan Singh Sarai told him (the student) that he (Sarai) was planning to blow up the school.

"Specifically, according to the student, Sarai claimed to have a bomb in his backpack, wired to go off at a certain time, and that Sarai planned to leave the bomb in a school bathroom and flee," the report added, quoting the police official.

According to Cook, during interrogation, Sarai admitted telling his classmate about bringing a bomb, but insisted he was only joking. "Schools take bomb threats seriously, and that even joking about having a bomb at school is considered a terroristic threat - a felony," Cook added.

Sarai's family, however, said he was framed. 

The victim, Armaan Singh Sarai's cousin Ginee Haer took to Facebook to narrate his ordeal. Referring to the teenager as a 'goofball', Haer described how her cousin had always lived in Texas and had recently moved with his family to Dallas. She further talked about his heart condition that didn't allow him to get out of the house much and that he had to undergo three open heart surgeries, which were making settling in a new place already very difficult. The post goes on to say that Armaan was arrested solely on the basis of a classmate's accusation.

"A bully in class thought it would be funny to accuse him (Sarai) of having a bomb, and so the principal, without any questioning, interrogation, or notification to his parents, called the police," Sarai's cousin Ginee Haer wrote in a Facebook post that has since gone viral.

"They kept him behind bars for three consecutive days, before finally releasing him on Monday, December 15th," Haer wrote in the post."

According to Haer's post, Armaan's family contacted every police department in the area in a bid to locate him, only to find out that he had been sent to a juvenile facility. She further claims that her brother was kept in jail for three days before being released on December 15.

In another Facebook post, Aksh D. Singh, who identified himself as Armaan's older brother, said: "My little brother Armaan... was taken from school to Kimbo Juvenile Center because he AND other students were joking about bomb threats. I know we live in a time when such an accusation is serious, but this is outrageous..."

According to media reports, police said they indeed went to Nichols Junior High School in Dallas, Texas, after a student told a teacher that Sarai told him he was planning to blow up the school.

"Worried & frightened at home, his family was concerned as to why he had not reached home right after school. They started calling every police department in the area, only to find out he was sent to a Juvenile facility," Haer added in her post.

"Armaan was born and raised in Texas by a loving #Sikh family. In his spare time, he loves spending time with his family, watching tv, and playing video games. In his family, are his mom, dad, two sisters and a brother who love him more than life, after all he's the baby in the family," the post read.

"His family moved to Dallas, Texas, about three to four months ago, and being the new kid wasn't that easy for him. It made it especially hard since he isn't able to get out much, due to a heart condition he was born with," Haer wrote.

"The heart condition has led him to having three open heart surgeries, and he isn't able to do a lot of extra curricular activities. But his love from his family and friends has always been enough to keep his heart filled. His family and friends would describe him to be really funny, nice, and a caring human being," Haer wrote.

The incident came after a Texas boy, Ahmed Mohamed, was recently taken away in handcuffs for bringing to his Dallas school a homemade clock that the school authorities mistook for a bomb.

Like the case of clock boy Ahmed

The alleged incident comes just three months after the arrest of 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed in Irving, Texas who had made a digital clock and taken it to his school to show it to his teacher. Instead of appreciation or praise, Ahmed found himself detained and arrested after one of the teachers mistook his creation for a bomb and called the police. Ahmed’s arrest caused a national outcry with President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg coming out in his support. Ahmed’s family is seeking $15 million and an apology from the city and school officials. 

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