Kashmir unrest: Teen boy dies after being hit by tear gas shell

  • Ashiq Hussain, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2016 22:21 IST
A Kashmiri protester runs for cover as a tear gas shell explodes near him in Srinagar. (AP)

A teenaged boy died in Kashmir after being hit by a tear gas shell during clashes with security forces in the old city on Sunday.

Police said Irfan Ahmad, 18, was killed in Malarata in the Nowhatta area after security forces lobbed tear gas shells. “He was hit by a shell on the left side of his chest,” said deputy inspector general of police, central Kashmir, GH Bhat.

Doctors at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital declared Irfan brought dead.

Locals said the youth was a resident of Fateh Kadal and had gone to Malarata to attend a marriage, and that it was unclear if Irfan was among those pelting stones.

The recent death comes on a day when Union minister Arun Jaitley called stone-pelters “aggressors” and vowed that there would be “no compromise with those indulging in violence”.

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday appealed to the Kashmiri youth to leave the path of confrontation and to pick up books instead of stones. He said people with vested interests were trying to provoke them.

Read | J-K opposition leaders meet Rahul Gandhi, discuss situation in Valley

Kashmir has been on the boil since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8. Irfan’s death on Sunday took the death toll to 67 in the ongoing protests in the Valley, in addition to around 7,000 injured.

Despite repeated calls for restraint, injuries and deaths continue to rise, even as the government struggles to contain the situation amid widespread curfew, which was in effect for the 44th consecutive day.

An elderly couple — Abdul Qayoom, 80, and his wife, Nazira Begam, 75 — was injured when security forces opened fire during a midnight raid on their residence in south Kashmir’s Tral region on Friday. A seven-year-old boy, Junaid, was critically injured in a separate incident of pellet firing in downtown Srinagar on Saturday.

Read | No compromise over violence in Kashmir; Pak challenging India’s unity: Jaitley

Doctors at SMHS Hospital said the health of Qayoom, who had perforations in his small intestine due to pellets, was stable. “He is improving after the operation. However, he still has a chest tube to drain the blood from his lung cavity,” said a doctor.

Junaid is also said to be stable, with a chest tube to drain the blood and air from his lung.

At least 60 people were injured as security forces fired teargas shells and pellets to disperse protesters in Behrampora area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla.

Pro-freedom rallies were also organised in Kashmir’s southern districts of Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian on Sunday.

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