Murder probe into new death in Indian Kashmir

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SRINAGAR: Indian police launched a murder probe against paramilitary forces on Friday after a teenager was shot dead in Kashmir, sparking more street protests in the troubled region.

The rare move by the police to immediately open a case against the paramilitaries comes amid accusations from locals and rights groups of indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force by security personnel.

The youth was killed by the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in northern Sopore town on Thursday evening. No arrests have been made.

"We have filed a murder case against the CRPF personnel and started investigations," a police officer Aftab Ahmed told AFP from Sopore, adding that no protests were underway at the time of the shooting.

Thursday’s death brought to 60 the number of protesters and bystanders killed during two months of demonstrations in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where separatists are fighting for independence from Hindu-majority India.

The latest killing sparked protests in Sopore on Friday, and authorities deployed thousands of security forces to keep the peace, police said.

Referring to Thursday’s death, CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi said his men had fired in self-defence after they were attacked by a mob in which assistant commandant S.K. Das sustained serious neck injuries.

"Our men fired from pump action gun and the youth was injured due to pellets and later died in hospital," he said.

In March this year, police arrested a paramilitary officer for his alleged role in the shooting of a teenager that had also sparked protests.



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