Over 30 people were injured after Indian troops and police personnel resorted to teargas shelling on the funeral of a minor boy in Srinagar today (Saturday).
The 16-year-old boy, Qaiser Sofi, a resident of Shalimar, was found in an unconscious state a day after he went missing on 27th October. He was admitted to the Soura Institute of Medical Sciences in Srinagar where he breathed his last at around 10 pm last night.
Witnesses told media that the body of Qaiser Sofi was brought to his ancestral home in Safa Kadal at around 7 am today. They said that mourners carrying the body of Sofi were shouting pro-freedom slogans as they marched towards martyrs’ graveyard in Eidgah. However, Indian forces deployed in the area resorted to teargas shelling to prevent the march towards the Eidgah, triggering clashes. Around 35 persons, including two women, were injured in forces’ brutal action.
The injured, witnesses said, were rushed to SMHS Hospital for treatment. They said that the forces’ personnel also fired teargas shells into the boy’s home.
The mourners, however, managed to reach the martyrs’ graveyard, where the boy was laid to rest.
On the other hand, at least three Indian police personnel were injured in a blast in Dadsara area of Tral town.
Many in the mostly Muslim region see India as an occupying force and resent the hundreds of thousands of troops deployed with special powers to shoot suspects on sight while being immune from prosecution.
This year’s violence erupted following the July 8 killing of a popular freedom fighter by Indian forces. There have been almost daily protests since then, often with stone-throwing youths clashing with police and paramilitary forces firing pellets and bullets into the crowds. Indian authorities also have staged months of night-time raids.
More than 100 civilians have been killed, with thousands more injured. Curfews, communication blackouts, roadblocks and strikes have largely paralysed public life.