SRINAGAR: A boy died of his wounds Monday after being shot by security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir at a protest over the execution of a separatist, police and hospital officials said.
Ubaid Mushtaq, who doctors say was 12 or 13 years old, died around 3:00am at Srinagar's main hospital after suffering bullet wounds in the protest on Sunday at Watergam, a senior hospital official said on condition of anonymity.
Watergam is a village close to the hometown of Mohammed Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri Muslim who was executed on Saturday at a jail in New Delhi after being convicted of helping to plot the deadly 2001 attack on the Indian parliament.
A senior police officer, who was not authorised to speak to the press, said that the youngster had already been buried in his home village and around 3,500 mourners had attended the funeral service.
The officer said an inquiry had been launched into the shooting and that initial reports suggested the death was the result of firing by a paramilitary force which comes under the control of the federal interior ministry.
Guru, 43, had been found guilty of conspiring with and sheltering the militants who carried out the attack in December 2001 – an event that claimed nine lives and exacerbated tensions between India and Pakistan.The decision to execute Guru, a suspected Kashmiri militant, was taken after President Pranab Mukherjee rejected his mercy petition and sent it to Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on February 3.
Human rights groups have denounced the decision to hang Guru. They allege that Guru was not given a fair trial because there was no lawyer to defend him at the trial stage. Guru's execution has been heavily criticised in Kashmir with the state's chief minister among those warning that it could lead to more unrest in the disputed region.
Security forces have imposed a curfew in much of Indian Kashmir while a general strike was in force on Monday to mark the 29th anniversary of the execution of Maqbool Bhat, a leader of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
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