Protests Over Kashmir Boy's Death5 February 2010
Srinagar: Separatists in Indian-administered Kashmir have called a strike as part of protests over the killing of a 15-year-old boy by a police tear gas round. Shops and businesses in most of the Kashmir Valley were shut on Tuesday and many vehicles stayed off the roads. Wamiq Farooq was hit in the head by a tear gas shell as police dispersed a protest against Indian rule on Sunday. At least 17 protesters and eight troops were hurt during protests in the summer capital, Srinagar, on Monday. The officer who fired the fatal shell has now been suspended, officials say. Funeral Huge crowds gathered outside the home of Wamiq Farooq on Tuesday before his body was carried away for a funeral procession. Witnesses said Wamiq had gone out to play cricket and was not among the protesters who clashed with police on Sunday. Clashes between stone-throwers and the police have been a regular occurrence in Srinagar for almost a year. The police say they have even drawn up a list of the young men who are often involved. Lawyers and human rights groups have criticised the police for charging stone-throwers under the Public Safety Act. The law imposes two years of detention without trial for anyone who poses a threat to the security of the state, but legal experts say stone-throwing is a minor offence that could be dealt with under 'ordinary laws'. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Muslim-majority Kashmir, over which India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty and have fought two wars.