SRINAGAR: The grandmother of a youth, who was killed during retaliatory action by forces against protesters in Srinagar on Saturday after the Prime Minister Narendra Modi wounded up his visit to the state, passed away last night after suffering cardiac arrest.

Police and family sources told The Citizen that the lady, Rehti Begum, was told that her grandson, Gowhar Nazir Dar, had only suffered minor injuries when police and paramilitary forces allegedly opened fire and burst teargas shells to disperse protesters in Zainakote locality of Srinagar on Saturday.

Reports said Rehti had gone to visit the family on Sunday and fainted after finding mourners there. "She breathed her last at JVC Hospital last night," a close relative of the family told The Citizen.

Gowhar, a second semester engineering student, was killed when, according to the family members, he was caught between protesters and paramilitary forces near his residence on Saturday evening when he had gone to buy milk.

"It was a target killing. He was killed by the CRPF men who didn't spare even a mentally retarded person in the area and beat him up before killing Gowhar," Mohammad Yusuf Dar, Gowhar's uncle, said.

The victim's family and locals in Zainakote maintain that there was no stone-pelting when CRPF men allegedly resorted to live fire and teargas shelling in the area. "There was a minor incident but the elders in the area intervened and peace was soon restored," a local said, wishing anonymity.

The CRPF, which has a unit headquarter in Zainakote area, gave out contradictory statements on Sunday about the events which resulted in the killing of Gowhar, alleging that a “stone may have hit Gowhar," resulting in his death.

According to Bhavnesh Chaudhary, the CRPF spokesman, a mob tried to breach the security of the unit headquarter, “Mob even tried to barge into the camp. Then sensing the breach in camp security, CRPF and police jointly tried to disperse them by using mild force. When stone pelting increased, we fired some teargas shells to disperse the mob.”

"On November 7, there were no restrictions in Zainakote area and no troops of 44 battalion of CRPF were deployed in the area, except at the gate of the Unit headquarters. There was a continuous stone-pelting on the camp since morning and the CRPF maintained highest restraint and didn’t even use tear gas shells,” Choudhary said in the statement.

“CRPF fired only 19 tear gas shells. We strictly followed the drill to deal with such law and order problems. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered. If anybody from CRPF is found at the fault, strict disciplinary action will be taken,” the statement added.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti and former chief minister Omar Abdullah have expressed anguish over the killing and called for a probe to unearth facts behind the incident.

Following a separatist call for shutdown, over 40 protesters were injured in day-long clashes with government forces in different parts of Kashmir Valley on Sunday against the killing of Gowhar.