A 23-year-old man was killed in Baramulla on Monday when the security forces fired at protesters accompanying the funeral procession of a schoolboy who drowned in the Jhelum allegedly after a police chase.
A bullet hit Fayaz Ahmad Khanday in his chest when the police allegedly fired on mourners carrying the body of Faizan Ahmad (13) towards the deputy commissioner’s (DC’s) office in Baramulla, 65 km north of Srinagar.
Special Inspector General (North Kashmir) Pankaj Saxena said: “I have no idea what has happened. I am on my way to Baramulla town.”
Since June 11, the number of deaths at the hands of the security forces in Kashmir has risen to 17.
Faizan’s body was recovered on Monday after he was allegedly compelled to jump into the river from a bridge on Saturday.
Fayaz was married last month.
“As his body lay on a stretcher, I saw his little finger was still red with henna,” said a local who went to see him in the district hospital of Baramulla.
Eyewitnesses said that emotions were running high after the body of Faizan was taken out of the river. Mourners marched towards the DC’s office with the body of Faizan, demanding an inquiry into the “killing”. A large contingent of police and paramilitary personnel intercepted them at a place some distance away.
They said that DC Bashir Ahmad interacted with the people and left. It is then that a women’s procession moved towards his office and a group of boys jumped on a police vehicle and shouted slogans. At this point, the police opened fire.
Thirteen persons including four women were injured in the firing. Despite several attempts, Ahmad could not be contacted.
The incident provoked massive protests in the town. In the evening people raised pro-freedom slogans.
Life continued to remain disrupted in Kashmir in response to the strike call by separatists against the civilian killings.
In Srinagar, shops, schools, and business establishments remained closed and there was no traffic on the roads.