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Valley firing kills teenager

Srinagar, March 14: The death of a teenager in firing by security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir today triggered massive protests and threatened to escalate the situation in the Valley ahead of the general election.

Police said a mob had attacked a security vehicle in the evening and tried to set it ablaze at Naidkhai village of Bandipora.

“Security personnel boarding the vehicle fired in the air to disperse the mob, in which one person got injured,” a police spokesperson said.

“The injured person was identified as Farhat Ahmad Dar, son of Ghulam Rasool, resident of Shahgund, Sumbal, who unfortunately died on way to the hospital. Appropriate action is being taken,” the spokesperson added.

It is not clear how the youth died if the forces had only fired in the air.

An official said the youth had received bullet injuries. “There is a lot of tension in the area and lot of people are protesting on streets. The body of the youth is lying at Pattan hospital for post mortem,” the official said.

The incident took place hours after protests broke out in the area following Friday prayers. “There were clashes after Friday prayers during which force was used to disperse the mob. Some vehicles were damaged during the clashes,” the official said.

Protests broke out again in the evening, which is when the mob tried to set the vehicle ablaze and the security forces opened fire.

While some residents blamed the Central Reserve Police Force, the CRPF spokesperson in Srinagar, Kishore Prasad, said his force did not open fire.

The killing has come as mainstream political parties are busy campaigning for the elections. Deaths in firing have triggered massive protests on numerous occasions in the past and today’s incident is likely to give ammo to separatist hardliners who have asked people to boycott the polls.

Bandipora falls in the Baramulla parliamentary constituency, which will vote on May 7.