Clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in Srinagar on Saturday after the death of a youth who was allegedly hit by a CRPF vehicle during another confrontation yesterday. A police official said protesters pelted stones when security forces stopped his funeral procession at Fatehkadal.
Qaiser Amin Bhat, 21, succumbed to his injuries late on Friday night at SKIMS hospital at Soura. Bhat, a resident from Fatehkadal, had been injured during clashes between protesters and security forces in the Nowhatta area of the city. His funeral was held this morning. Hundreds of people turned out for the funeral despite authorities imposing restrictions in parts of Srinagar.
Recalling the incident, a CRPF spokesperson told The Indian Express that a mob had charged at the vehicle in which one of their officers was travelling. “The officer was there to survey the deployment. The vehicle came under attack from hundreds of youth in the area. They attempted to move out. Had they not, they would have been overpowered and lynched.” The officer was accompanied by four escort personnel and a driver.
The J&K Police confirmed to The Indian Express that two FIRs have been lodged. One has registered against the CRPF, while the other is in connection with the stone-pelting.
Another youth, who suffered injuries as well, is admitted at the local hospital. Mobile internet services are suspended in some areas, including Srinagar, as a precautionary measure.
Former J&K chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, targetting the government and CM Mehbooba Mufti, said, “Earlier they tied people to the fronts of jeeps & paraded them around villages to deter protestors now they just drive their jeeps right over protestors.”
Meanwhile, the Hurriyat, in a statement, has condemned the ‘killing’ of Bhat at Nowhatta. “The killing spree of Kashmiris by the forces continues either by bullets, pellets or lately by crushing them under their vehicles despite a so called Ramzan ceasefire,” it said. Slamming the security forces, Hurriyat said that “the worse part is that after mowing down the youth a case for rash driving was registered in the regard as if the incident happened by accident” and added that the accused would anyway go scot free due to AFSPA in the state.
The statement further said: “Repeatedly imposing curfews and severe restrictions, snapping internet connection, barricading roads and alleys, stationing forces at every nook and corner even in the holy month of Ramadan is causing grave inconvenience to the people, it is uncalled for and highly condemnable.”
They have called for a strike today in protest of the recent killings of civilians.
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