Thousand defy ban in Indian-controlled Kashmir, protest at funeral of slain boy

September 17, 2016 8:41 pm

Mourners chant slogans near the body of Nasir Shafi, 11, during his funeral in Srinagar, Indian-controlled , September 17, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

People in Indian-controlled Kashmir have defied a curfew and taken to the streets in the main city of Srinagar to protest during the funeral of a schoolboy killed by Indian forces.
Thousands attended the funeral Saturday of 11-year-old Nasir Shafi, a boy whose body was found a day earlier on the outskirts of Srinagar after he was reportedly shot with pellet guns.
Clashes erupted in much of the southern parts of Kashmir as people expressed anger at the increasing brutality of Indian forces in quelling popular protests in the disputed Himalayan region.
“Forces responded when large crowds defied restrictions. Many were injured on both sides during the clashes that followed,” a local police officer said. Other officials said at least 100 people were injured.
Kashmir has been the scene of some unprecedented protests against the Indian government since July 8, when a popular fighter was killed by the government forces. The death of the schoolboy on Friday brought to 81 the total number of people killed in Kashmir protests. Thousands have also been injured in the violence, which is believed to be the worst to hit the Muslim-majority territory since 2010.
There are an estimated 500,000 Indian troops currently deployed in the restive territory. The country has imposed a curfew across large parts of the territory in the wake of the early July incident.
A prominent politician resigned Thursday from ’s parliament in protest against the ongoing crackdown in Kashmir. Tariq Hameed Karra said he was quitting to express anger at the “brutal policy” adopted by the administration of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in dealing with the case.
Kashmir lies at the heart of a bitter territorial dispute since India and Pakistan became independent in 1947.
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