Srinagar simmers as tension over boy's death persists
Life in Srinagar ground to a halt today with public transport off the roads, and banks, shops as well as educational institutions closed following tension the day before when the death of a youth triggered widespread violence. Stray incidents of violence continued with stone pelting protesters clashing with police.india Updated: Jul 09, 2009 14:56 IST
Life in J&K's capital Srinagar ground to a halt on Thursday with public transport off the roads, and banks, shops as well as educational institutions closed following tension the day before when the death of a youth triggered widespread violence.
Stray incidents of violence continued with stone pelting protesters clashing with police in the old city area as authorities imposed strict restrictions in uptown Maisuma, where trouble had erupted and then spread after the body of Asrar Ahmad Dar was recovered in Rainawari locality.
Dar, who belonged to Maisuma, had left his home on his motorcycle last week and had since remained untraced.
Police used batons and fired tear smoke shells to quell the protesters, three of whom were arrested in Ram Bagh locality when they were caught attacking private transport vehicles on the road leading to the airport.
According to Afadul Mujtaba, senior superintendent of police (Srinagar), investigators had made headway in the Dar murder investigation.
“Vital clues have surfaced and we are confident of cracking the murder mystery soon,” the Srinagar district police chief told reporters.
Mystery shrouds the identity of the attackers but locals alleged police and other security agencies picked him up and killed him in custody.
Police handed over the body to his relatives after an autopsy Wednesday afternoon. As the body was being taken for burial, the youth accompanying the funeral procession turned violent and threw stones at passing vehicles.
They smashed window panes of government buildings and tore down hoardings, besides pelting stones at some shops and restaurants on the way to the graveyard at Dalgate.
Police had a difficult time in controlling the crowd during the funeral.
Wednesday's violence followed similar agitations over the rape and murder of two women in a south Kashmir village in Shopian region in May and the killing of four protesters in alleged police firing in north Kashmir's Baramulla and Sopore towns last month.