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JK: 13-yr-old dies in protests over Geelani house arrest

By Mukhtar Ahmad
Last updated on: October 03, 2009 09:48 IST
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Authorities have decided to impose curfew in north Kashmir's Baramulla town after a 13-year-old boy was killed and eight others wounded in clashes after the prayers on Friday between the state police and protestors, who were agitating against the house arrest of hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

The district magistrate of Baramulla, Latiefu Zaman Deva, told that the district administration had decided to impose curfew in parts of the town to defuse the tension that had gripped it after Irfan Ahmad Lone was killed during the protests.

Protestors shouting anti-India slogans took to the streets of Baramulla, located 54 km from Srinagar, resorting to heavy stone pelting at the local police station.

The pelting later intensified as more groups of people joined the protestors in the town situated on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road.

Reports said the police had initially used batons to disperse the protestors, who kept on re-grouping and engaging the police with stone pelting.

The police later responded by firing tear smoke shells, one of which is reported to have hit Irfan. The injured boy was first taken to the local hospital where attending doctors referred him to Srinagar for specialised treatment.

However, Irfan succumbed to his injuries late on Friday evening.

As the body of the youth reached the town late on Friday, high tension gripped the entire area.

More reinforcements have been moved into the town to maintain law and order.

Geelani was placed under house arrest at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar on September 9, a day after he was released on court orders after 95 days of imprisonment under Public Safety Act.

With agency inputs

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Mukhtar Ahmad in Srinagar