Stones thrown by protesters in Kashmir kill civilian

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A middle-aged civilian has been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir after anti-India separatists threw stones at a bus in Srinagar. The victim, Shafiq Ahmad Sheikh, died in hospital after the stone struck his head, police officials stated.

The stone-pelting incident occurred in the Batmaloo area before the separatists marched to the local United Nations office to protest against Indian administration in Kashmir. Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the leader of the protesters, had ordered the protests against "growing human rights abuses" by security officials.

"The ultimate responsibility (for the death) lies on the separatists because they had given the call for protest," Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister of the state, told local media.

Farooq Ahmad, Inspector General of Police of the state, said Sheikh was an employee of the State Board of School Education and was traveling by bus to his office when "[s]ome boys threw stones at the vehicle he was travelling in. A stone hit Sheikh, who later succumbed to his injuries." "[As such] there was no law and order problem in the area," he added. A murder case has been filed against the attackers.

Opposition leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed the "macabre incident once again underlines the grave crisis the state is facing and the anarchy the present government has caused."