Kashmir protests turn violent

Police used tear gas against demonstrators in Kashmir on Friday when protests against the planned execution of a Kashmiri man next month turned violent.

    Shops and businesses were closed during the strike

    Eight policemen were injured in clashes with protesters throwing stones in Srinagar after Friday prayers, according to a police officer who said six civilians were also injured when government forces hit them with bamboo sticks.

    The demonstrators were opposing the planned execution of Mohammed Afzal who has been convicted of plotting 2001 attack on India's parliament that left 14 people dead.

    Afzal was convicted after confessing his role in television interviews, and a New Delhi court has set October 20 as the execution date.

    Paramilitary soldiers also used bamboo sticks to push back reporters and photographers covering the protest in Srinagar, injuring seven of them.

    There were about a half-dozen protests across Kashmir against the sentence, and shops and businesses were closed as part of a strike.

    Separatist leaders in Kashmir say hanging Afzal could derail the fragile peace process between India and Pakistan aimed at settling a decades-old dispute over the region.

    Friday’s strike was called by separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. He was placed under house arrest on Friday along with another separatist leader, Shabir Shah, said a police officer on condition of anonymity.

    Police often prevent Kashmiri leaders from leaving their homes to lead public protests in the state.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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