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Srinagar tense, restrictions in old city
Published on 6 Feb. 2010 10:36 PM IST
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Restrictions continued for the third consecutive day Saturday in the old city areas of Srinagar amid heightened tensions over a 16-year-old boy’s death due to a bullet injury. Zahid Farooq Sheikh, a Class 10 student died due to a bullet injury in his chest in the city’s Nishat area while he was playing cricket Friday afternoon. Relatives and locals say he was shot by paramilitary troopers moving in a vehicle in the area. The police have registered an FIR in the case and are waiting for the autopsy report for further investigations. “The burial of the youth did not take place yesterday (Friday). After the post-mortem is completed, the burial will take place today (Saturday),” a police officer here said. Farooq’s death comes days after a schoolboy was killed Sunday when he was hit on the head by a teargas shell in Rajouri Kadal area of the old city. The city has been on a boil since then and Friday’s incident, which people blamed on security forces, heightened the tension. Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who immediately ordered a probe into the youth’s death, has reiterated that civilian casualties are unacceptable to his government and anybody found guilty of such an act among the security forces would have to face the process of law. Kashmir Divisional Commissioner Naseen Lankar will head the probe, which will submit its report within seven days. Authorities have imposed strict restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc) to restrain pedestrian and vehicular movement in the old city areas of Srinagar. These areas have been under strict restrictions for the last two days as fierce clashes erupted between mobs and security forces following the death of a schoolboy Sunday after he was hit on the head by a tear smoke shell. The youth was hit when police tried to disperse stone-pelting mobs in the old city. The victim’s relatives maintain that he was not part of the mob but was just walking in a by-lane when he was hit by a tear smoke shell. Though some private transport plied in the uptown areas of the city, shops, other businesses and banks remained closed. According to reports reaching here, normal life was hit in other district headquarters of Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian, Ganderbal, Baramulla and Kupwara also because of a shutdown although there were no curfew-like restrictions there.

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