Indian Security Forces fire tear gas as clashes erupt in Kashmir
Fierce clashes erupt in Kashmir
Fri, 09 Aug 2013 14:18:12 GMT
Indian security forces have fired tear gas and used pellet guns against angry protesters in Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir.
A series of protests against Indian forces erupted after Eid al-Fitr prayers in the streets of Srinagar and soon spread to several other towns of the Muslim-majority region.
Several dozens of people and nearly 20 soldiers were reportedly injured in clashes between Indian forces and stone-throwing protesters in Srinagar, Sopore and Anantnag.
Several separatist groups who oppose New Delhi rule over the Muslim-majority region called the protest rallies. Pro-independence leaders say the Indian government should hold the security forces accountable for human rights violations in Kashmir.
The anti-India demonstrations come after New Delhi deployed police and paramilitary forces to the region ahead of Eid al-Fitr. Indian troops are also in constant clashes with the Kashmiri fighters seeking independence in the area.
The government forces have responded by imposing curfews and restrictions on the movement of people.
Indian authorities have also put Kashmir’s top pro-independence separatist leaders under house arrest to keep them from leading protests.
Anti-India and pro-independence sentiments are running high in Kashmir, a mountainous region which has been at the center of contention between India and Pakistan for more than six decades.
The neighbors agreed on a ceasefire in 2003 and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.
Thousands of people have been killed in Kashmir over the past 20 years.