At least 30 people have been injured after fresh clashes broke out between protesters and security forces in the restive north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, following the death of a teen.
The incident took place in Indian-controlled Kashmir region on Saturday (5 November) after government forces reportedly fired shotgun pellets and tear gas to subdue a funeral procession for a 16-year-old, which turned into an anti-India protest.
The family of the teenager, Qaiser Sofi from Eidgah area in Srinagar city, claimed the boy died due to alleged ill-treatment by the police. He died at a hospital in the city on Saturday morning.
According to the Associated Press, witnesses said that hundreds of young men who took part in the funeral indulged in stone pelting on security forces, prompting use of force by the authorities. A tear gas shell reportedly exploded near the boy's coffin.
A police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the news agency that Indian government forces fired pellets, warning shots and tear gas, fearing the procession could lead to a mass rally.
The injured include two women, and a Deccan Chronicle report claims that at least six of the total injured sustained pellet injuries.
Sofi reportedly went missing on 25 October. He was later found in an unconscious state six days later and was admitted in the hospital. His family, however, claim he was tortured and poisoned by security forces.
Police have denied the allegation claiming the boy consumed poison on his own.
Kashmir, a restive region in India and a part of which Pakistan too has control over, has been experiencing large-scale protests and separatist-sponsored strikes in recent years against Indian rule. Military crackdown is also reported to have paralysed normal life in the region for 120 consecutive days.
One such recent protest was sparked after a popular young rebel leader, Burhan Wani, was killed in July.
As many as 90 civilians have been killed and several thousand injured in the ongoing unrest in the Himalayan valley, which has been the centre of debate and war between India and its rival Pakistan. Two policemen have also been killed and many injured in the clashes.