Indian Army Shot Innocent Kashmiri Boy

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Old 10-Feb-2010
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Post Indian Army Shot Innocent Kashmiri Boy

SRINAGAR, India Indian security forces said Wednesday they may have been responsible for the shooting death of a teenage boy in revolt-hit Kashmir that has sparked days of demonstrations.

A senior paramilitary officer said one of his troopers may have been involved in the death of 17-year-old Zahid Farooq, who witnesses say was gunned down after a group of boys refused to leave a high-security area.

Doctors said Farooq, who was the second teenager to be killed in a week, had suffered bullet wounds in his chest.

"An inquiry has revealed prima facie the possibility of constable Lakhwinder Singh being involved in the incident," Border Security Force director general P.S. Sodhi told reporters.

He said the constable was being handed over to the police in Srinagar, the summer capital of the Himalayan region where Muslim insurgents have been fighting New Delhi's rule for two decades.

The announcement came after Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah vowed strong action over the boy's death and asked investigators to complete a probe within a week.

"Incidents of unprovoked or innocent killings will not be tolerated and whosoever is involved in such killings will be brought to book and doled out exemplary punishment," Abdullah said last week.

The region was already in uproar over the killing of 14-year-old Wamiq Farooq by a police tear-gas shell on January 31, and the latest death has fuelled anger against Indian security forces.

The government has banned the assembly of more than four people in Srinagar but it has been unable to contain the protests in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan.

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