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Another schoolboy dies; protests intensify in Srinagar

By Mukhtar Ahmad
February 05, 2010 20:56 IST

Tension intensified in Srinagar on Friday after another schoolboy was killed near the famous Nishat Mughal garden on the outskirts of the city.

Earlier, 13-year-old Wamik Farooq was killed in Srinagar on Sunday after he was hit by a teargas shell on his head at Rajouri Kadal in Srinagar, during a clash between a mob and the police.

The school boy, Zahid Farooq Sheikh, 17, was shot in the chest. He was taken to the local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries today evening.

The boy's family alleged that Zahid had been shot by the security forces near Brein Nishat when a vehicle carrying soldiers opened fire at a group of youths.

A senior police officer said, "We have begun an investigation into the mysterious death of Zahid Farooq at Nishat. The allegation that some passing vehicle opened fire is also being looked into."

As the news about Zahid's death spread, fresh tension gripped Srinagar, and Nishat area was rocked by protests.

Carrying the body on a cot, hundreds of people shouted pro-freedom slogans and tried to  march to the chief minister's residence today evening.

However, the police intervened and used tear smoke and baton charges to block the protestors and thwart their march.

The protestors then blocked the road at Nishat and started shouting slogans. Authorities were trying to persuade the agitated locals to bury the body.

Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar