Srinagar: A class seventh student was allegedly killed, with pellet wounds found in his body, in a late Friday clash with security forces in a hilly village on the peripheries of Srinagar city, officials and witnesses said on Saturday.
The death, which took the toll to 89 in the ongoing Kashmir unrest, triggered massive demonstrations in Harwan and other nearby areas close to the famous Mughal garden of Shalimar.
The witnesses said the pellet-hit body of Moomin Altaf Ganai, 12, was found late on Friday in the Dachigam National Park, some 25 km from the city centre.
Residents said he had gone missing on Friday evening after protesters in the New Theed village of Harwan were chased by security forces.
“The boy was missing since Friday 5 p.m. Villagers searched for him in the area where the protesters were chased and found the body near the Dachigam gate,” Mubarik, a villager who gave only his first name, told IANS.
“The body clearly had pellet injuries and apparently bore some torture marks,” the villager said.
As the news of the boy’s death spread, thousands of villagers from other areas gathered in Harwan to hold protest demonstrations.
Shouting anti-government and pro-freedom slogans, the villagers carried the body in a procession and were refusing to bury it until culprits were arrested.
Security forces tried to stop the demonstrations by firing tear gas shells to disperse protesters who were throwing stones at them, a police spokesman said, adding the officials were collecting details to ascertain the cause of the boy’s death.
The authorities imposed curfew, blocking entry points to the area as people from other localities tried to reach Harwan to participate in funeral prayers of Ganai.
Restrictions were also imposed in other Srinagar localities as the Kashmri Valley continues to be on the boil for the 71st day on Saturday amid endless stone-pelting protests and counter-violence by security forces, triggered by the July 8 killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.