India, Pakistan trade fire in Kashmir; 2 dead, 8 wounded

Protesters throw rocks and bricks on a paramilitary vehicle in Srinagar. —AP

Protesters throw rocks and bricks on a paramilitary vehicle in Srinagar. —AP

The CRPF vehicle was negotiating its way through the protesters hurling stones outside a mosque in Nowhatta area after Friday prayers when it ran over Bhat. A separate case was also filed against unidentified men for attempted murder of the CRPF personnel in the vehicle at that time.

A Kashmiri man shouts for help as a paramilitary vehicle runs over him during a protest in Srinagar. Bhat was brought to the SKIMS hospital after suffering "serious chest injury and multiple fractures" and died at night, hospital authorities said. One of the injured was Bhat.

This is the second such incident in less than a month when a civilian was rammed by the forces' vehicle.

The deceased had been living with his aunt and sisters in Dalgate area of Srinagar for the past four years following the death of both his parents.

Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, from the main opposition party in the region, criticised the current head of the state Mehbooba Mufti, whose People's Democratic Party is ruling the state in a coalition with Hindu right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party. Now they just drive their jeeps right over protesters.

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As the funeral was on, the security forces burst tear gas canisters into the crowd injuring mourners.

Officials say that's nonsense, and that the vehicle was surrounded by a crowd of angry young men, some of whom fell beneath the jeep-like auto when they tried to pull the soldiers out and lynch them.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained from his residence here, while moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was placed under house arrest today. He added that the body was ferried in a truck to the graveyard and many people couldn't offer funeral prayers after the use of "excessive force" by the police. The mob tried to take the officer and his escort out of the vehicle. When they reached the main chowk they pelted stones on the security force posse.

India has about 500,000 soldiers in the part of Kashmir it controls, where armed groups are fighting for independence or a merger with Pakistan. "The worst part is that after mowing down the youth a case for rash driving was registered as if the incident happened by accident", the JRL statement said, referring to the May 5 incident wherein the driver was granted bail last week after police had registered case of rash driving in the incident.

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