|Fresh clashes in Indian
Kashmir after four protesters die
SRINAGAR (AFP) – Fresh clashes erupted on Saturday
between anti-India protesters and security forces in
Indian Kashmir, where 55 demonstrators have died
during two months of unrest.
Police used teargas, batons and in some cases live
ammunition to disperse the stone-throwing
demonstrators who took to the streets in defiance of
strict curfews in the Muslim-majority region.
“At least 20 protesters and 10 policemen were
injured in clashes in more than two dozen locations
across Kashmir,” a Police officer told AFP, asking
not to be named.
Authorities stepped up a curfew in the main city
Srinagar after four people were killed Friday in the
latest of a series of demonstrations against New
Delhi’s rule in the Himalayan region.
“We have enforced a curfew across Srinagar to
maintain law and order,” chief district magistrate
Meraj Kakroo said. Curfews were also extended to
other parts of the region, Police added.
The heightened security came as India geared up for
Independence Day celebrations on Sunday marking the
end of British rule in 1947.
Separatists observe the day as a “black day” and
security is normally stricter than usual in Indian
Kashmir, where Islamic militants have been fighting
against New Delhi’s rule for two decades.
Anti-India protests have become increasingly intense
as Kashmiris seek to force New Delhi to withdraw
troops from the disputed Himalayan region, which is
claimed by both India and Pakistan, and end Indian
The latest killings – of three teenage students and
a 65-year-old man – came as Kashmiris marked the
first Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Police said Friday they had been forced to open fire
because they were unable to control a crowd throwing
Critics say the security forces resort to using live
ammunition because they are poorly trained and
unable to handle the unruly crowds.