12 Year Old Only Son Killed by Pellets, Protests Paralyse Srinagar
SRINAGAR: Curfew has been imposed in the capital Srinagar of Jammu and Kashmir after clashes broke out during the funeral procession of a 12-year-old boy, who was yesterday fatally injured in pellet firing by forces and succumbed in wee hours of Saturday at a hospital here.
The fresh killing, which comes after days of relative calm in the valley, has taken the toll of the deceased civilians in the ongoing uprising to 94. Witnesses said Junaid Ahmad Akhoon, a student, was hit by nearly 100 pellets in chest and head after police and paramilitary forces resorted to "indiscriminate use of force" to disperse a protest demonstration in Srinagar's Eidgah area post Friday prayers.
Following the separatists' call, urging people to march to the UN office in Srinagar on Friday, authorities had imposed curfew in several areas of the valley. However, violent clashes broke out across Kashmir valley during which nearly 50 people were wounded.
According to family sources, Junaid Ahmad, the only son of Ghulam Ahmad who lives in Saidapora locality of Srinagar, was shifted to SKIMS with "life-threatening injuries" where he passed away at 2:40 am today.
The killing has sparked tensions across Srinagar city with thousands of people, shouting anti-India and pro-freedom protests, marching to his native place to offer condolence with his family following which authorities imposed curfew to prevent further deterioration of the situation.
Reports said forces resorted to heavy teargas shelling and baton charge to disperse hundreds of mourners who had assembled near the sprawling Eidgah ground to participate in Junaid's funeral.
"The body (of Junaid) was lying on the road for some time as forces fired dozens of teargas shells to disperse the procession which made it impossible to stay in the area. However, several youth clung to the stretcher holding the body to prevent its desecration," eyewitnesses said.
Amid massive anti-India and pro-freedom protests during which three youth sustained injuries when forces pounced on the demonstrators to disperse them, the slain youth was laid to rest at the Martyrs Graveyard in Srinagar.
Meanwhile, a Jammu and Kashmir policeman was killed while another cop and a civilian sustained injuries when suspected militants attacked a police post guarding a minority family in south Kashmir's Shopian last evening.
Police sources said the suspects, believed to be three to four in number, attacked the police post guarding a Kashmiri Pandit family in Jamnagri village of Shopian, reportedly with the intent of snatching away their weapons.
“Two policemen and a Pandit were injured in the attack of whom a cop identified as Constable Nazir Ahmad, a resident of Kulgam, succumbed to injuries. The condition of the other two injured is stable," a senior police official said, wishing anonymity.
Sources said the cops, deployed in the home of the Kashmiri Pandit family, were not holding any weapon at the time of the attack which resulted in a verbal duel with the suspects who later fired at them.
The situation remains tense in the restive valley where curfew and shutdown entered fourth month today. With no sign of thaw in sight, security forces have geared up for a longer spell of protests and shutdown which have convulsed the region following the killing of Burhan Wani.
(Photograph by Basic Zargar)