Indian Kashmir shuts down over protester killings

By AFP
Published: July 19, 2013

Indian paramilitary troops stop a Kashmiri woman during a curfew imposed on the Kashmiri summer capital in Srinagar on July 19, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

SRINAGAR: Indian Kashmir largely shut down amid heavy security on Friday after troops shot dead four people during a protest over a paramilitary raid on an Islamic school.

Shops, banks, schools and most government offices were closed in towns across the region, after a separatist leader called a three-day strike to protest Thursday’s killings.

Srinagar, the main city in the region, was largely deserted after hundreds of police and paramilitary troops were deployed on the streets to halt any demonstrations over the deaths.

Although authorities have not officially declared a curfew in the troubled Himalayan region, residents said they were not being allowed to go about their business.

“Early in the morning, troops appeared all around my neighbourhood disallowing people from coming out onto the streets,” a resident of the old part of Srinagar Farhan Ahmed said.

“It is an undeclared curfew,” he said.

Troops fired on protesters on Thursday, after residents of the district of Gool gathered to demonstrate against what they said was a desecration of the Holy Quran by troops during their search of a madrassa.

They gathered outside a base of the Border Security Forces (BSF) in Gool region, 230 kilometres south of Srinagar.

Residents accused BSF troopers of beating up a caretaker and desecrating a Holy Quran, during a search for militants inside the madrassa in Gool late on Wednesday.

Police officers initially said six protesters were killed in the firing. But inspector-general of police, Rajesh Kumar, clarified on Friday that only four had died.

“The fact is that the number of dead is four. The confusion was because we were busy in dealing with law and order and also due to the spotty nature of telecommunications in the mountainous area,” Kumar told media.

He said 37 protesters were also injured in the incident.

The region’s chief minister, Omar Abdullah, condemned the shootings while India’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde ordered an investigation, saying the deaths were regrettable.

A top separatist leader, Syed Ali Geelani, called for a shutdown to protest the killings.

Most separatist leaders have been detained or put under house arrest to prevent them from leading protest rallies, sources said.

Chairman of the pro-independence Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) called for a protest before he was detained by police on Thursday.

The main university in the region postponed examinations scheduled for Friday without announcing any fresh dates.

Elsewhere, in Azad Kashmir’s prime city Muzaffarabad around 500 protesters took to the streets, chanting slogans and burning the Indian flag, to condemn the forces’ actions.

A revolt against Indian rule has going on for decades in Kashmir, the country’s only Muslim-majority state.

The insurgency has been a regular source of tensions between residents and security forces, which often spill over into violence.

About a dozen rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces in Kashmir since 1989, either for independence or for a merger with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.

Nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan have each administered part of Kashmir since the partition of the subcontinent after the end of British rule in 1947.

Each country claims the territory in full.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • indi
    Jul 19, 2013 - 5:57PM

    burning flags- dats what citizens of failed state can do….we dont care as long as they remain on the other failed sideRecommend

  • Kashmiri
    Jul 19, 2013 - 6:03PM

    we want azadi! down with the tyrant forces!

    Recommend

  • Raj Kafir
    Jul 19, 2013 - 6:38PM

    ET, you mean Indian Occupied Kashmir.

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  • UMAIR
    Jul 19, 2013 - 6:48PM

    it would be sweet if you stop killing your own people india.

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  • newsworm
    Jul 19, 2013 - 6:55PM

    Freedom is a privilege, no a right!
    You live and let others live.

    Who are Kashmiris?
    Go and get some knowledge about Kashmir in the net!

    The original Kashmiris were peace loving and allowed others to live in harmony. But today’s pseudo Kashmiris are foreigners attacked India from the North West. They are the decedents of Sikandar Butshikan, who tried his best to wipe out the native Kashmiris from Kashmir.

    The atrocitie were clearly mentioned in Tarikh-i-Firishta:

    “Many of the Brahmins, rather than abandon their religion or their country, poisoned themselves; some emigrated from their native homes, while a few escaped. After the emigration of the Brahmins, Sikandar ordered all the temples in Kashmir to be thrown down. Having broken all the images in Kashmir, (Sikandar) acquired the title of ‘Destroyer of Idols’.”

    If you want more facts, read ‘Rajatarangini’ by Kalhana, the original Kashmiri who wonderfully documented the history!

    Freedom fight of Kashmir is a farce!
    The nationality is a farce too!

    The freedom fight of today’s pseudo Kashmiris is a disguise for the terrorists fuelled by Pakistan.

    Wake up! and become aware that nationality does not matter to these terrorists. Remember, the pseudo British who bombed the underground trains in London on 7th July 2005?

    Kashmir is Part of India and will be!
    Jabtak Suraj Chand Rahega, Kashmir Hindustan Rahega!

    Recommend

  • Irfan Ahmad
    Jul 19, 2013 - 7:03PM

    “Indian Kashmir” or “Indian OCCUPIED Kashmir”???

    Recommend

  • naeem khan Manhattan,Ks
    Jul 19, 2013 - 7:12PM

    Where are those Indian trolls now, they are always here and spewing venom at Pakistan, why don’t have any comment now about their own heavy handedness in held Kashmir, Oh Yeah, their so called democracy is to blame others but not to look into their own home, by the way us Pakistanis are very critical of ourselves and our country. If they will comment here, then certainly will be pointing fingers towards Pakistan but they don’t realize that people of Kashmir don’t like them and want to be independent from HINDUSTAN, I say it shows their ( paid Indian trolls) bias towards Pakistanis and I consider them pathetic people.

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  • Asoka
    Jul 19, 2013 - 7:41PM

    @Irfan Ahmad
    Its Indian Kashmir. Its India all the way from Iran to the west and Cambodia to the east.
    We were ruling these places once and we will rule again.

    Recommend

  • RAW is WAR
    Jul 19, 2013 - 8:17PM

    so?

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  • rp
    Jul 19, 2013 - 8:40PM

    we wanted to kill all protestors some escaped

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  • Rafi Ka Deewana
    Jul 19, 2013 - 9:16PM

    Another Kashmir shut down. No work today. But the Indian government is feeding them, so how does it matter?

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  • Amazing
    Jul 20, 2013 - 12:18AM

    So, according to the Indians commenting:

    Kashmiris are not really Kashmiri, based on a book from 700 years ago, relating to things that happened 700 years ago.

    However, their land still belongs to India, jab tak suraj rahega.

    India will someday extend from Cambodia to Iran.

    If you Indians are trying to out do Zaid Hamid, then congratulations on the smashing success! May your tribe grow so the world sees your true faces.

    Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma.
    Jul 20, 2013 - 7:28AM

    All non-Pundit Kashmiris need to migrate to Pakistan.

    Recommend

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