Class 9 student killed as police open fire on crowd protesting Masarat Alam’s arrest in J-K

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A Class 9 student was killed on Saturday when security forces opened fire at protesters at Narbal in Jammu and Kashmir after top separatist leader Masarat Alam’s arrest for allegedly hoisting a Pakistan flag at a Srinagar rally.

A police spokesman said the boy was hit by a bullet in the leg.

Violence broke out on the streets of Srinagar on Friday as Alam was arrested on sedition charges, with protesters burning the national flag and fighting pitched battles with security forces. Around two dozen people were injured in the clashes.

Alam, arrested for leading dozens who waved Pakistani flags during a rally organised by hardline separatist leader Ali Shah Geelani, was sent to seven-day police custody by a Budgam court on Friday. He was arrested from his home in Habbakadal area of the Srinagar on Friday morning, apparently after the Centre pushed for it.

Moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who led a march in Tral, earlier accused the army of killing youngsters after labelling them terrorists. Geelani had called a strike throughout the Kashmir valley on Saturday to protest the alleged killings and police action against protesters.

As the Centre came under attack for the situation in the state ruled by PDP-BJP coalition, Union home minister Rajnath Singh asserted India’s unity and integrity were “inviolable” and “nobody will be allowed to break it”.

“Anybody found engaging in anti-national activities will not be spared or forgiven,” he told a press conference near Kanpur.

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