Curfew grips Indian Kashmir following killings

Banks, shops, schools and most government offices remained closed for a second straight day.

Afp July 20, 2013
Indian police patrol on a street in Srinagar on February 10, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

SRINAGAR: Indian administered Kashmir was gripped by curfew on Saturday, two days after security forces shot dead four demonstrators, triggering widespread protests across the Muslim-majority region.

The security forces fired on demonstrators protesting against the alleged desecration of the Quran during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan by Indian troopers during a search operation on Thursday.

Some reports stated that as many as 37 people were injured in the incident.

Indian authorities subsequently imposed a curfew on the main areas of the Kashmir valley later on Thursday.

A further 59 people, including 49 police and federal paramilitary personnel, were hurt in clashes between government forces and protesters in dozens of places on Friday, police said.

The curfew is likely to remain at least till Sunday, Indian officials said.

Separatist leaders opposed to Indian rule of the territory had called for a three-day shutdown following the killings by Border Security Force troopers.

"Restrictions on the movement of people will be there for at least three days until the strike is over," Ashok Prasad, director-general of police, told a local news agency.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, looked like a city under seige with hundreds of police and paramilitary troops dotting the streets.

Main roads were blocked with coils of razor wire to discourage demonstrations. Banks, shops, schools and most government offices remained closed for a second straight day while university and school exams were put off indefinitely.

Kashmir's council of ministers condemned the firing and ordered Rs500,000 compensation payments to the families of the slain demonstrators on Friday.

Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has also said that he regretted the killings and ordered a probe into the decision to open fire.

Pakistan has reacted sharply to the alleged desecration of Holy Quran and the killings.

"Such incidents incite violence and hurt the sentiments of Muslims not only in Pakistan but all over the world," the government said on Friday, calling for a "thorough investigation" and punishment of the guilty.

Dozens of rebel groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

The fighting has left tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, dead in Indian administered Kashmir.

The nuclear-armed South Asian rivals each hold part of the Himalayan territory but claim it in full.


saif | 10 years ago | Reply

It seems Pakistan has put the matter of kashmir on back burner. Pakistani media is showing news about birthday of indian actress instead of kashmir. And pakistani people, they are numb.

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