Curfew, restrictions re-imposed in Kashmir
SRINAGAR (92 News) — Indian authorities have on Friday re-imposed a curfew in the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) to prevent a protest march to the main mosque called by Hurriyet leaders.
Residents said government forces visited homes in Srinagar before dawn and asked them to stay indoors.
The city witnessed clashes between government forces and protesters even as the curfew that was in place since July 9 violence, triggered by the rebel’s killing, was lifted on Thursday. Doctors in the main hospital said they treated dozens of people, most of them with pellet injuries from weapons fired by security forces.
Furious young men hurl rocks and shout for an end to Indian rule. The violent crackdown comes swiftly, as Indian paramilitary soldiers pour into the streets. Then the shooting starts, the hospitals grow crowded and the siege begins.
The most recent spate of violence has been the worst in years, killing some 50 people since July 8. It started last month after Indian soldiers killed Burhan Wani, a charismatic 22-year-old rebel who attracted a following in large part by using the tools of his age — social media.
In the wake of Wani’s death, Srinagar, the largest city in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, has become a ghost town.
Previously, protests erupted over the killing of Burhan Wani, a charismatic young Hurriyet leader from Kashmir who was shot dead by Indian security forces the previous day.
Tens of thousands attended Wani’s funeral march from 5am on Saturday in his hometown of Tral, despite police warnings to stay at home, and street protests quickly spread across the valley. In ensuing clashes, security forces fired live ammunition at protesters.
Mobile phone networks have been shut down across the heavily militarized valley, while shops and offices are closed and public transport is suspended.
Amid fears of further escalation on Monday night, a grenade attack injured three policemen outside Srinigar, and another officer was taken hostage by a mob demanding the release of three youths arrested earlier for stone-throwing.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had condemned India’s crackdown on civilian protesters and resulting deaths, while he described Wani, 22, a commander of the Hizbul Mujahedeen group, as a “Kashmiri leader.”