Indian forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas Saturday as thousands carried the body of a young boy killed overnight during an anti-India protest in the main city of Indian-controlled Kashmir. Chanting slogans “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom,” thousands of residents marched to the main Martyr’s Graveyard in Srinagar for the burial of the 12-year-old boy. Police and paramilitary soldiers fired warning shots, pellets and tear gas, fearing the procession could become a larger rally seeking an end of Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan region, said a police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with department policy. Clashes broke out as hundreds of young men hurled rocks at the troops while another group of mourners changed route to bury the dead. The boy was critically injured on Friday evening after he was hit by shotgun pellets all over his body and died at a hospital early Saturday.
We are taking all possible measures so that the protests don’t spread to other areas.
Police officer speaking on condition of anonymity
Residents said the young student was hit inside his home compound, some 30 feet (9 meters) from clashes between protesters and government forces. Police say he was part of the clashes. On Friday, at least 50 people were injured during dozens of clashes as tens of thousands of Kashmiris protested against Indian rule. Government forces continued firing shotguns to disperse angry crowds despite repeated warnings from India’s Home Ministry to minimize their use and widespread outcry against such weapons by local and international rights groups that have sought their ban. The pellets have killed at least six people and left hundreds of civilians with serious eye injuries, with dozens losing their eyesight. Meanwhile, a police official was killed after suspected rebels fired at a police post in the region.