A youth was shot dead allegedly by the CRPF on Sunday, making him the third young civilian to be killed by security forces in the north Kashmir town in two days and the sixth in the Valley in 17 days.
People from the town, 55 km north of Srinagar, told HT on the phone that the victim, Bilal Ahmad Wani, who was in his early twenties, was on his way to a mosque for evening prayers when a group of youngsters started shouting slogans.
CRPF personnel manning the street allegedly fired at the protesters, killing Wani, the only son of Muhammad Maqbool Wani, on the spot.
It was not clear if Wani, who was shot in the neck just outside the mosque, was hit by a rubber or metallic bullet.
"He (Wani) had a grave injury on the neck," said a doctor who attended to the victim at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital in Srinagar.
The death came a day before the separatists' call to march from Srinagar to Sopore to protest the killing of two teenagers on Friday.
Additional CRPF personnel were rushed to the area as curfew continued in Sopore for the third day. But residents defied the curfew and raised slogans against security forces. "We want to take this fact to the international community that Kashmir is facing the worst kind of state terrorism," said moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.
No police officer was ready to divulge details about the shooting.
"I am terribly busy at this time," CRPF Inspector General NC Asthana said.