Srinagar: A teenaged boy died in Kashmir after being hit by a tear gas shell during clashes with security forces in the old city on Sunday.
Police said Irfan Ahmad, 18, was killed in Malarata in the Nowhatta area after security forces lobbed tear gas shells. “He was hit by a shell on the left side of his chest,” said deputy inspector general of police, central Kashmir, GH Bhat.
Doctors at Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital declared Irfan brought dead.
Locals said the youth was a resident of Fateh Kadal and had gone to Malarata to attend a marriage.
Kashmir has been on the boil since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter on July 8. Irfan’s death on Sunday took the death toll to 67 in the ongoing protests in the Valley, in addition to around 7,000 injured.
Despite repeated calls for restraint, injuries and deaths continue to rise, even as the government struggles to contain the situation amid widespread curfew, which was in effect for the 44th consecutive day.
An elderly couple — Abdul Qayoom, 80, and his wife, Nazira Begam, 75 — was injured when security forces opened fire during a midnight raid on their residence in south Kashmir’s Tral region on Friday.
A seven-year-old boy, Junaid, was critically injured in a separate incident of pellet firing in downtown Srinagar on Saturday.
Doctors at SMHS Hospital said the health of Qayoom, who had perforations in his small intestine due to pellets, was stable. “He is improving after the operation. However, he still has a chest tube to drain the blood from his lung cavity,” said a doctor.
Junaid is also said to be stable, with a chest tube to drain the blood and air from his lung.
At least 60 people were injured as security forces fired teargas shells and pellets to disperse protesters in Behrampora area of Rafiabad in north Kashmir’s Baramulla.
Pro-freedom rallies were also organised in Kashmir’s southern districts of Pulwama, Anantnag and Shopian on Sunday.
Curfew, shutdown and protests continued across Kashmir Valley on Sunday as unrest that started with the killing of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani entered day 44.
All the entry and exit points leading to city centre – Lal Chowk – were sealed off by government forces with razor wires, barricades and mobile bunkers and the civilian movement was completely restricted. Hundreds of police and CRPF men were deployed in Lal Chowk area to prevent any kind of protest while night curfew remained imposed in several Srinagar areas including city centre.
The curfew in Srinagar’s Old City, Maisuma, Batamaloo and other areas also remained imposed strictly as thousands of forces personnel in riot gear guarded the streets after culmination of dawn prayers.
Many locals of Old City alleged that they were not allowed to buy milk and vegetables by forces. The curfew also remained enforced in Anantnag, Pampore and Pulwama townships of south Kashmir.
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