Jammu & Kashmir: Indian forces fire at crowds at Kashmiri boy’s funeral

9th Oct 2016
Jammu & Kashmir: Indian forces fire at crowds at Kashmiri boy’s funeral

By Zahid Rafiq

 

SRINAGAR, Indian-held Kashmir (AA): The killing of a 12-year-old boy by Indian troops in Kashmir led to clashes at his funeral on Saturday.

Junaid Akhoon was killed Friday during clashes between security forces and pro-independence protesters in Srinagar. A senior doctor at the Sher-I-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences said he suffered a severe head injury caused by shotgun pellets.

“There were multiple pellets in his brain and there were contusions,” the doctor told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to government instructions not to discuss casualties with the media.

Akhoon’s funeral saw Indian security forces fire shotguns and tear gas at mourners and authorities imposed a curfew across districts of Srinagar.

A senior police official, speaking on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said the government was concerned the funeral would turn into a pro-independence demonstration.

“So there was police action to disperse the mourners and to not allow it to become a rally,” the official told Anadolu Agency.

One of the mourners, Shahid Gulzar, said the boy’s body was being carried for burial when security forces opened fire.

“The Indian government first killed a 12-year-old child and then fired at his funeral procession; even the worst criminals would not do that but that is what India has been doing here and these three months have been a low even by their own standards,” he said.

Regular protests against Indian rule have been held since July 8, when a Kashmiri militant commander was killed by Indian forces. At least 89 civilians have been killed and more than 12,000 injured, according to health department records. More than 8,000 people have been arrested.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan. Kashmiri militants have been fighting for independence from India or unification with Pakistan since 1989, during which time more than 70,000 people have been killed.

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since partition in 1947, two of which were over Kashmir.

[Photo: Kashmiris try to protect the dead body of 12 year old boy Junaid Akhoon after Indian police resorted to heavy teargas shelling in Srinagar the summer capital of Indian controlled Kashmir on October 08, 2016. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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