Police have shot dead a teenage boy in India-administered Kashmir, making it the first death outside Gaza in protests against Israel’s invasion of Gaza Strip.
“The boy died in (police) firing on anti-Israel protesters who were also angry about injuries suffered by other protesters during earlier demonstrations,” a senior police officer told AFP news agency on Saturday.
The shooting took place in south Kashmir’s Khudwani neighbourhood, about 60km from Srinagar – the summer capital of India-administered Kashmir, where angry protesters are holding a string of demonstrations against Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Local residents told AFP that it was believed that the boy, Suhail Ahmad, was hit by a bullet while sitting in a shop and was not part of the protest but police could not immediately confirm this.
A police statement sent to Al Jazeera said that the incident was “unfortunate” and the death “is being probed”.
The Class nine student received serious bullet injury in his chest and was bought dead to the hospital, a local newspaper Greater Kashmir quoted a doctor saying.
More protests erupted following the boy’s death and spread to at least two nearby towns where the police used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.
Boycotting Israeli products
Pro-Independence groups have called for strikes in response to the killing while Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, leader of a key pro-Independence group, has called for boycotting Israeli products in the disputed territory.
The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign has been backed by traders too who have supported Farooq’s call to boycott Israeli-made products.
Kashmir – which has been at the centre of a quarter-century revolt against the Indian rule – has witnessed massive pro-Palestinian protests almost every day since Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza.
Protesters have burned Israeli flags and clashed with government forces at several places in the region. Tourism officials say Israel has issued a travel advisory cautioning its citizens from visiting Kashmir.
The new federal government led by nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, has refused to condemn the Israeli raids on Gaza.
Last week, the government refused to discuss the Israeli invasion and Gaza killings in parliament.