Srinagar: The death of a man and a boy in an accident on Boulevard Road sparked off a violent protest on Saturday, with the protesters venting their ire on a CRPF truck they believed was responsible for the deaths.
Witnesses told Kashmir Reader that around 6pm, a motorcyclist lost control over the bike and crashed into the footpath after being hit by a Maruti Swift (JK01N-7878) car he was trying to overtake near Hotel Welcome.
The motorcyclist, Mohammad Ashraf Hafiz of Brane, Nishat, died instantly, while a pedestrian, Nadeem Ahmad Chapri, 10, received serious injuries in the accident. Chapri succumbed to injuries at hospital.
Soon after the accident, scores of people pelted the CRPF vehicle and the troopers with stones, believing they were responsible for the accident. The protesters also set the vehicle on fire.
“Troopers fired several shots in air to scare away the protesters. However, the protesters, mostly youth regrouped and persisted with the protests,” Firdous Ahmed, an eyewitness said.
The clash, he said, prompted the traders to down their shutters and run towards safer places. The movement of traffic was also hit.
CRPF spokesman Kishore Prasad said, “The motorcyclist was not hit by our vehicle. Our men have no role in this accident.”
The police have registered a case and arrested the CRPF driver, Jaswant Bali, and the driver of the Swift, a police spokesman said in a statement.