Indian troops have fired warning shots and used tear gas as they clashed with thousands of people in Srinagar protesting against the killing of a 12-year-old boy by security forces.
Doctors told Al Jazeera that Junaid Ahmad died early on Saturday at a hospital in the main city of the Indian-administered Kashmir, hours after suffering a head injury and pellet wounds.
Residents said the boy was sprayed with pellets in the lawn outside his home, but police said he was part of anti-India protests that took place on Friday.
A doctor at the Sheri Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, where the boy was brought to, told Al Jazeera that the 12-year-old was “shot by pellets in his head and chest”.
Ahmad’s death sparked widespread anger, with thousands of protesters chanting slogans “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom”, as they marched to the “Martyr’s Graveyard” with the boy’s body.
Clashes between security forces and protesters soon broke out, which led to a curfew being imposed in Srinagar.
“We are taking all possible measures so that the protests don’t spread to other areas,” a police officer told AFP news agency, referring to the curfew.
On Friday, over 50 people were injured during protests in the restive Himalayan region, which has recently seen its largest protests against Indian rule in years following the July killing of a popular rebel commander, Burhan Wani, by Indian soldiers.
At least 90 civilians have been killed and thousands injured, with hundreds among them blinded and maimed, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotgun pellets at rock-throwing protesters.
The protests, and a sweeping military crackdown, have all but paralysed life in Indian-controlled Kashmir, with shops, schools and most banks remaining shut and mobile phone and internet services working intermittently.
Meanwhile, suspected rebels fired at a police post in the southern Shopian district killing an officer and injuring three others, a police statement said on Saturday.
Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in full.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, where rebel groups have fought Indian troops since 1989 for either independence or a merger with Pakistan. More than 70,000 people have been killed since then.
Tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours has soared after an armed attack last month on an Indian army base killed 19 soldiers, with the two armies exchanging heavy fire and mortars across their de facto border in Kashmir almost every day.[Source: Al Jazeera]