Huge protest after police kill 4 in Indian Kashmir

Aug 13th, 2010 | By admin | Category: Featured

The security forces fired at the protesters, killing a teenage student and wounding at least six others, the police officer said. The protesters were later joined by thousands of residents from neighboring villages, leading to more clashes, he said.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both. Protesters reject Indian sovereignty over Kashmir and want to form a separate country or merge with predominantly Muslim Pakistan.

The situation in the volatile region in recent weeks has been reminiscent of the late 1980s, when protests against New Delhi’s rule sparked an armed conflict that has so far killed more than 68,000 people, mostly civilians.

In Srinagar, authorities did not impose a curfew on Friday after a key separatist leader and cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, warned of total defiance if worshippers were stopped from praying at the Jamia Masjid, the city’s main mosque.

The mosque has remained out of bounds for people on Fridays for the past six weeks to avoid protests.

Tens of thousands of people marched through the winding streets of downtown Srinagar on Friday and offered prayers at the mosque. They chanted “Go India! Go back” and “We want freedom.” Scores of people on motorbikes waved green flags.

Most police and paramilitary soldiers had withdrawn to their camps to avoid clashes, but several skirmishes broke out anyway. At least five protesters, three with bullet wounds, were hospitalized, police said.

Clashes erupted at least in four other towns in Kashmir and at least 14 people were injured, police said.

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