Amid shutdown, Bandipora youths clash with securitymen over youth's death
Amid a shutdown, hundreds of people took to streets in northern district of Bandipora after Friday prayers in the wake of killing of a Bandipora youth in army firing, leading to clashes between stone-pelting youths and police and CRPF men.chandigarh Updated: Jul 27, 2012 19:54 IST
Amid a shutdown, hundreds of people took to streets in northern district of Bandipora after Friday prayers in the wake of killing of a Bandipora youth in army firing, leading to clashes between stone-pelting youths and police and CRPF men.
The protests erupted after the bullet-ridden body of Hilal Ahmad Dar (20) was found on Wednesday morning in Ashtengoo-Nar area of Bandipora district, amid claims of army that he was killed in an "encounter with militants".
Locals and family refused to buy the army statement, claiming that Dar was killed in "cold blood by soldiers".
Defence minister AK Antony has already ordered for a probe into the killing.
"We were holding a peaceful protest march when CRPF fired teargas shells. They broke windowpanes of houses and beat up whosoever came in their way. We also retaliated with stones," said a local youth. "They even resorted to firing in the air," the youth said.
However, police dismissed claims of firing in the area. "After Friday prayers, people went to the grave of the youth. While returning, some dispersed peacefully but some resorted to stone- pelting," said DSP Bashir Ahmad Khan.
In capital Srinagar, police restricted almost the entire separatist leadership to their houses, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Shabir Ahmad Shah.
Authorities want to take no chances amid fears that the leaders' visit to the house of the slain youth could further escalate protests.
Geelani had asked people to protest after Friday prayers, besides calling for a strike against the killing on Saturday.
In the centre of Srinagar, police used force to stop a protest march called by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front leader Yasin Malik to United Nations Military Observers Group stationed in Srinagar.
Malik along with dozens of other activists was taken into custody by police a few meters away from his Maisuma residence.
Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid also led a protest in his constituency of Handwara in north Kashmir against the killing.
Locals alleged that Dar was killed "for rewards" as he sported long hair and a beard and could have easily been "mistaken for a militant".