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Clashes rock funeral of youth hit by CRPF vehicle

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Mourners tear-gassed  as thousands defy restrictions to participate in his last rites

PHOTO/Javed Khan

Srinagar, Jun 2: Defying restrictions that were imposed to thwart any trouble, thousands of people on Saturday took part in the last rites of Fateh Kadal youth who was run over by a paramilitary CRPF vehicle during protests in Nowhatta yesterday.

Though strict restrictions remained in force in several downtown area including in Fateh Kadal, witness said that thousands of people defied restrictions to take part in the funeral prayers of Kaisar Ahmad Bhat at Fateh Kadal chowk. They said that government forces fired tear-gas into the mourners at the chowk, injuring dozens of them.

Reports said his body was later loaded onto a truck and driven to Eidgah where thousands of people had assembled to take part in last rites. “Second round of funeral prayers was held there in which again thousands of people participated,” said a mourner, adding that pro-freedom slogans were raised during the funeral.

Government forces again resorted to massive teargas shelling after Bhat was laid to rest, triggering intense clashes between the youth and the forces.

Kaiser Ahmad Bhat, 21, was run over by a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) vehicle in the old city area of Nowhatta during protests on Friday.

Bhat was admitted to Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, where he succumbed to critical internal injuries early on Saturday.

Internet services in Srinagar and Budgam districts have been suspended as a precautionary measure, an official said.

The clash in which Bhat was fatally injured took place yesterday after Friday prayers ended at the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area  when he and another man were run over by a CRPF vehicle during clashes.

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