Conflict in Kashmir Takes a Grim Toll on Unwitting Victims

Wounds old and new deepen in a generations-old, seemingly endless struggle.

Farzan Sheikh was in his bedroom doing his ninth-grade math homework when he heard a commotion outside. It was late in the afternoon of March 28, 2017, and a funeral procession was passing by in his neighborhood in Srinagar, in the part of Kashmir that’s administered by India.

Curiosity drew the then 16-year-old into the street, where he glimpsed a shrouded corpse carried by mourners. Then he heard pro-Kashmir slogans and saw Indian police use tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to scatter the crowd. Sheikh ran toward the narrow alley leading to his home.

“I saw a policeman with a gun aiming at me, and he shot directly at me,” he said. “That was the last thing I saw.”

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