Curfew extended in Indian Kashmir after clashes

By AFP
Published: August 11, 2013
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Indian army soldiers speak with motorcyclists during a curfew in Jammu on August 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

Indian army soldiers speak with motorcyclists during a curfew in Jammu on August 11, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

SRINAGAR: Authorities extended a curfew in a town in Indian Kashmir for a third day on Sunday as tensions rose after two people were killed and dozens wounded in Hindu-Muslim clashes in the disputed region.

Stores and buildings were torched in Friday’s clashes that erupted in Kishtwar town, 150 kilometres southeast of Kashmir’s summer capital Srinagar after prayers marking the end of Ramazan.

Omar Abdullah, the state’s chief minister, addressed a press conference on Sunday and said local authorities would do “everything possible to restore calm in the region”.

The curfew extension came as Pakistan and India both accused each other on Sunday of fresh firing between their two borders.

The fighting is the latest in a spate of recent cross-border skirmishes between the two nuclear-armed neighbours who have fought three wars since independence from the British rule in 1947, two over the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.

The violence in Kishtwar broke out when several hundred Muslims staged a march and shouted slogans attacking India and demanding “freedom” before being assaulted by Hindus who objected to the demonstration.

Multiple groups have been battling Indian forces since 1989, calling for the territory to be made independent or become part of Pakistan, in a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians.

Authorities extended the curfew and deployed the army to prevent further outbreaks of violence after reports of fresh clashes emerged late on Saturday, Abdullah said.

Kishtwar residents have alleged members of the Village Defence Committees, controversial semi-official local groups drawn mostly from the Hindu community and armed by the government to fight militants in their neighbourhood, used weapons during Friday’s clashes. Abdullah said the government was considering options, including a possible recall of weapons from the committees.

“One option available to us is to ask people to deposit all licensed weapons in the nearest police stations,” he said. Shops and other businesses remained closed all weekend in Jammu, Indian Kashmir’s winter capital, in response to shutdowns called by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Businesses also stayed shut in Srinagar in response to a strike over the clashes called by a top Kashmiri leader, Syed Ali Geelani, who had demanded “peaceful protests” following what he branded as “state terrorism” after Eid prayers.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan by a heavily militarised Line of Control but both the nuclear-armed South Asian rivals claim the Himalayan territory in full.

Blame-game

“One Border Security Force (BSF) soldier injured from sniper shots fired by the Pakistan soldier. We retaliated and the firing went on for some time,” N S Jamwal, a BSF official told media.

Pakistan on Sunday also accused Indian forces of firing on its border posts close to the eastern city of Sialkot in Punjab province.

“Indian Border Security Forces resorted to unprovoked firing on Pakistani Rangers posts near Pukhlian, Head Marala area, in Sialkot sector,” a senior military official, told media.

“Intermittent exchange of fire continues. No loss reported so far,” the official added on condition of anonymity. The official also added that after exchange of fire on the border in the Punjab province, the Indian troops then fired at the Line of Control (LOC) in the disputed Kashmir region.

“Indian troops also resorted to unprovoked firing at LOC in Nakial sector near Kotli,” he said.

The escalation in firing comes days after India accused Pakistan’s military of involvement in an ambush in Kashmir which killed five Indian soldiers and punctured hopes of a resumption in peace talks.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Aug 11, 2013 - 4:16PM

    Pakistan should hand over Hafeez Sayeed and Dawood Ibrahim to India. These two persons are responsible for most of terrorist and communal violence here.

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  • Rabbani
    Aug 11, 2013 - 4:22PM

    We stand with our brothers and sisters in Indian-occupied Kashmir. I hope they are relieved from the torture very soon.

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  • Aug 11, 2013 - 4:24PM

    Big headlines ET ! Why don’t you worry about Baluchistan which has been under virtual and perpetual curfew for the last ten years at least ?

    Better concentrate on who killed the 34 police officers in Quetta and also on where the Quetta Shoora member are being sheltered by your country.

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  • Paki
    Aug 11, 2013 - 4:28PM

    Its Occupied Kashmir Not Indian Kashmir. ET Correct it Please!!!!

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  • Ali
    Aug 11, 2013 - 4:53PM

    The drama of India being a secular society. Kashmiris should go to international court.

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  • Ali
    Aug 11, 2013 - 4:55PM

    ET is good at plagiarism. They sound more foreign agents by quoting AFP stories which are anti- pakistan. Shame on ET and it’s $ hungry editors

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  • G. Din
    Aug 11, 2013 - 5:25PM

    @Ali:
    “Kashmiris should go to international court.”
    They should but why haven’t they thought of that for the last 24 years? Do you suppose they are too dumb not to have thought of that? Or, is it, that they know that would be the death knell for their “cause”? No country in the world will consent to the breach of its territorial integrity.
    Think before proffering advice to your “bretheren”!

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  • Np
    Aug 11, 2013 - 5:43PM

    @Ali:
    Nothing to do with secularism. Any way Pakistanis are fine ones to talk about that. Plus peace had returned. Guess wo is stirring things up? Your Amy by pushing its strategic assets. Wo suffers? Our Kashmiri brethren because domestic tourism which is their livelihood could once again be affected.

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  • Hari
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:04PM

    @Ali:
    Stop crying and accusing ET to be “Israel, America and India” because of you people there is no “Aman Ki Asha” .ET is free to cover any story however it wishes as an India I feel ET is doing a wonderful job to bringing two nations together and presenting a candid view.“Long live ET for its LIBERAL views”, ET Zindabad, Liberal Zindabad”.Stories are “Objective” and isn’t “Subjective”, MR. Ali please remove your spectacles and see the truth. See other International medias how they covers the news its candid they have no prejudices they are beyond Nation, Religion, Class, Caste, Ethnicity and race

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  • book
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:13PM

    “Islamists” don’t want peace in Kashmir

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  • ahmedmasood
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:19PM

    I think Jammu muslims want to do the same what thier brethren did to KASHMIRI PUNDITS 20 years ago ,ethnic cleansing of hindus in india, what a shame !

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  • Junglee
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:30PM

    Raising such slogans in hindu majority Jammu region reminds me of UP based Muslim upper class demanding for Pakistan. Why are so many Muslims so out of touch with geographic and demographic constraints and do not care for repurcussions of their decisions on larger muslim population.

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  • Shakir Lakhani
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:33PM

    There can be no peace in the sub-continent as long as Indian forces remain in Indian-held J & K. The only thing left to talk about between India and Pakistan is the time-frame for orderly withdrawal of Indian army from the disputed territory after U.S. forces have left Afghanistan.If India doesn’t agree, the next war will be in Indian-occupied J&K to liberate Kashmiris from the Indian yoke.

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  • Ali
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:35PM

    @Hari:
    Liberalism? Yeah no wonder ET editors don’t have brains of their own. Their reporting is neither secularand liberal and only suits some interest groups like Indian criminals in Kashmir

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  • Junglee
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:45PM

    @Ali:
    Right, With its minorities running from pillar to post for asylum, Now it is the turn of Pakistan to teach Secularism to us Indians. When was the last time you heard about an Indian seeking asylum elsewhere due to religious persecution?

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  • expaki
    Aug 11, 2013 - 6:52PM

    @book: “Islamists” don’t want peace in Kashmir. ANYONE, Islamist or else, interrupting PEACE, should be ELIMINATED without any MERCY.

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  • Alami Musafir
    Aug 11, 2013 - 7:03PM

    @Ali
    ET Moderation team are also very strict whenever Pakistanis comment on Kashmir, so as not to offend Indian sensibilities. They’re a bunch of daarpokes.. ET comments are genteel soirees in comparison to the “Times of India” comments.

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  • PRO PAK
    Aug 11, 2013 - 7:08PM

    @book:
    as well Hindus..did you know how many people died.raped?? why would you agree!!

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  • Faisal
    Aug 11, 2013 - 7:29PM

    I wish Pakistan was a strong country. I feel disgusted to see our brethren being killed at the hands of these Indians who have no business whatsoever with Kashmir. Kashmir banay ga Pakistan. (And ET pls don’t block this, am a Kashmiri myself and want to let these indians know that we would never be your part, that just doesn’t make any sense)

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  • Grow Up!
    Aug 11, 2013 - 7:35PM

    @Hari:
    MR. Ali please remove your spectacles and see the truth. See other International medias how they covers the news its candid they have no prejudices they are beyond Nation, Religion, Class, Caste, Ethnicity and race

    Really? So did your hypocrite media report about Pakistanis kidnapped today from near LOC? Did they tell you who started this LOC mess first? Or they stand above all the rules??
    You Indians can’t go anywhere with this sort of attitude, problem with you guys is you cannot handle the criticism. You are being fed that India is a superpower so that nobody questions about the high level of poverty, lack of education, dirt and slums in your country. For everything wrong you guys are told that its Pakistan involved so that you don’t question the failures of your own security agencies. You just dance to the tunes of your politicians and media. With the sort of the resources that you have and with the support that you get from Actual super powers you should have been miles ahead of where you are right now, but thanks to your corruption ridden system and an excuse of putting things over Pakistan that you are still far far behind.

    Now being an Indian you will surely come back with a counter argument about Pakistan so my dear brother the challenges that PAkistan is facing, no other country has faced. Having two troublesome neighbours is generally too much for any country.

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  • Jibran
    Aug 11, 2013 - 7:49PM

    I basically can’t care less. It’s a luxury to be distracted by this, when my own home burns and bleeds.

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  • Aug 11, 2013 - 8:07PM

    @Rabbani: It seems you are getting desperate tsk tsk

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  • goggi (Lahore)
    Aug 11, 2013 - 8:29PM

    This non-sense confrontation between Muslims and Hindus of the subcontinent means the EVERLASTING HIGH SEASON OF WESTERN WEAPON INDUSTRY! The day we stop buying their expensive weapons and our army jawans adopt their ancestral occupation of peace loving farmers, they shall destroy us completely!

    Our first and foremost endeavour should be to get aware of the hate-and-fear-programs which they have very cunningly installed in our minds and deinstall them.

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  • Fahad Raza
    Aug 11, 2013 - 8:34PM

    BJP , RSS, Shiv sena..want another Gujarat like massacre in Kashmir..

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  • rahuldesai
    Aug 11, 2013 - 9:12PM

    BJP , RSS, Shiv sena..want another
    Gujarat like massacre in Kashmir..

    Or maybe 1971 like massacre of hindus and 1991 like exodus of kashmiri pundits ?

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  • Rahul
    Aug 11, 2013 - 9:38PM

    @Shakir Lakhani:
    Waah Kya jazbaa hai. Inshallah, Inshallah!

    Let’s have it. We are ready. Btw War knows no boundaries and you will be up against entire India. God willing, we’ll have breakfast in Lahore, lunch with Afghan hosts in Peshawar and dinner with Baloch hosts in Kalat. A reorganisation of India’s Western front is long overdue.

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  • Hari
    Aug 11, 2013 - 9:43PM

    @Grow Up!:
    So did your hypocrite media report about Pakistanis kidnapped today from near LOC?

    Please read this

    Army denies Poonch ambush was a revenge for Machil encounter on July 30

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-08-09/india/412372841pakistan-army-pak-army-machil-sector

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  • FYI
    Aug 11, 2013 - 9:52PM

    Many Kashmiri Muslims have terrorist like mindsets. We will respond in a language they understand.
    Kashmir will destroy Pakistan one day. Kashmiris are cursed people. Walking Vampires.
    Poor people always begging money from Union Government.

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  • Arijit Sharma.
    Aug 11, 2013 - 10:23PM

    @Grow Up!: ” … Now being an Indian you will surely come back with a counter argument about Pakistan so my dear brother the challenges that PAkistan is facing, no other country has faced. Having two troublesome neighbours is generally too much for any country. … “

    It is you who went to the pet shop, it is you who bought a Burmese python, fed it, reared it and now you are complaining about your bones being crushed ?

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  • Arijit Sharma.
    Aug 11, 2013 - 10:26PM

    @Shakir Lakhani: ” … If India doesn’t agree, the next war will be in Indian-occupied J&K to liberate Kashmiris from the Indian yoke. … “

    We have nukes.

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  • Talha Rizvi
    Aug 12, 2013 - 11:08PM

    @Rahul:
    Keep dreaming loser.
    @ Arijit sharma: Get out of a Pakistani newspaper’s website and get a life.
    @ FYI: People with your thinking are a blot on humanity.
    @ ET: Kindly allow me to respond to a hater as per my right of freedom of speech.

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