Kashmir protests as Pellet-riddled body of 11 year old boy found


Srinagar: The tension in the valley doesn’t seem to end. An 11-year-old boy was killed allegedly in clashes with security forces on Friday at Theed Harwan, on the outskirts of the summer capital. His pellet-ridden body was found late on Friday night, triggering massive protests in the area on Saturday.

Nasir Shafiq Qazi, had gone missing on Friday evening after protesters were chased by security forces. His body was found near the Dachigam national park.

Thousands of demonstrators have defied a curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir to attend the funeral of the schoolboy.

Security forces fired tear gas shells on Saturday to disperse stone-throwing protesters, triggering more clashes in at least half a dozen places across Srinagar and southern parts of the Himalayan valley.

A curfew has been in place in large parts of the Muslim-majority Himalayan region since July when deadly protests erupted in the wake of the killing of rebel commander Burhan Wani by Indian forces.

Schools, banks and business establishments have been closed amid the curfew, while internet and mobile networks have also been cut off in a bid to prevent protests.

The government has come under growing pressure over the level of casualties. Most have died in clashes between protesters and government forces who have fired tear gas and pellet guns at demonstrators.

Earlier this month, India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh said police and troops would use chilli-based shells instead of ones filled with pellets after hundreds of civilians sustained serious eye injuries in the clashes.

The metal pellets, or birdshot, fired from the pump-action shotguns rarely result in deaths, but can often blind victims.

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