PROTESTS ERUPTED in Srinagar on Saturday after the body of an 11-year-old-boy, hit by pellets, was found. The boy, Nasir Shafi Qazi, a Class VII student, was reported to have gone missing after protests on Friday evening. When contacted, DGP, Law and Order, S P Vaid told The Sunday Express, “He has been hit by pellets… IGP (Kashmir) is looking into it. He will let you know in some time.”
Nasir’s body was found near a stream at the Dachigam National Park on Friday night, near his home in Harwan. “His right arm was broken and there were around 400 pellets in his body,” alleged his father, Mohammad Shafi Qazi. “There were torture marks on his body and some of his hair had been pulled out”.
According to reports, there were protests in Harwan after the Friday prayers. “There was stone-throwing in the area. At around 5 pm, a police vehicle rushed towards us. Some of us ran towards Dachigam,” said an 18-year-old who took part in the protests.
“We ran inside the park, and found some policemen there. We ran in different directions. I climbed a tree. An officer told the policemen to arrest all of us. Five policemen moved towards Nasir and fired pellets. They later returned without him. I thought he had escaped. After some time, I climbed down from the tree and went home. Then I came to know that Nasir had not reached home,” he said.
In the evening, an announcement was made from the local mosque that Nasir was missing. Many of the residents then organised search parties. The death sparked protests in Harwan and the surrounding areas on Saturday. Even as police imposed a curfew in the area, thousands of people participated in Nasir’s funeral. After the funeral, several people were injured in clashes with security forces.
With the latest death, the toll since July 8 has risen to 84. Meanwhile, over 80 people were injured in clashes in different parts of Kashmir on Saturday.