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1 killed, 4 wounded in Kashmir violence

By Mukhtar Ahmad, CNN
Mourners protest Sunday in Srinagar, Kashmir, during the funeral for a man killed when Indian troops opened fire on a crowd.
Mourners protest Sunday in Srinagar, Kashmir, during the funeral for a man killed when Indian troops opened fire on a crowd.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Indian security forces open fire on protesters
  • Authorities say group was attempting to torch paramilitary bunker
  • Violence erupts during funeral of youth who died
  • Youth's family claims he was killed by police; authorities deny allegation
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Srinagar, Indian-Controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- One person was killed and four others injured Sunday when Indian security forces opened fire on a violent mob that tried to torch a paramilitary bunker in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.

The incident occurred during the funeral of a youth who died in the hospital Saturday night after he was allegedly beaten by members of the Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force during violent protests last week.

The family of 25-year-old Rafiq Bangroo said CRPF troopers struck him on the head with gun butts, causing a fatal skull injury. The CRPF has denied the allegation, saying Bangroo died after he was pelted with stones.

Bangroo's body was handed over to relatives. As it was being carried for burial Sunday, angry mobs charged at a bunker of the CRPF and attempted to burn it, police said. The CRPF troopers manning the bunker opened fire on the crowd. Five people were injured, and one, a 26-year-old man, later died.

"They tried to torch the bunker after damaging it. Our soldiers opened fire in self-defense," CRPF spokesman Prabhakar Tripathi told CNN.

As the clashes started spreading Sunday, Indian security forces were rushed to the area to enforce an undeclared curfew. Hundreds shouting "We want freedom" joined the funeral procession.

Bangroo's death triggered impromptu protests in various parts of the city. Police and paramilitary troops used tear gas and baton charges and fired warning shots in the air in some spots to break up the angry protesters, according to authorities.

The Kashmiri separatist group All Parties Hurriyat Conference has called for a Kashmir-wide shutdown Monday to protest the killings.

Srinagar has been tense over the past week following the killing of another youth, a 17-year-old student who died June 11 after being struck in the head by a police-fired tear smoke shell.

Kashmir been in the throes of a violent separatist campaign for over two decades and has been a source of conflict between India and Pakistan.

The mounting toll in the region's two-decade-old insurgency is placed at over 43,000 by officials, while various rights groups and NGOs put the figure at twice the official number.