Kashmir rights protest turns ugly

Indian police fire tear gas at protesters striking over alleged human rights abuses.

Tear gas was fired to disperse the protesters in the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir [EPA]
Tear gas was fired to disperse the protesters in the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir [EPA]
Later on Friday, a crowd of more than 300 people clashed again with police outiside a hospital were the wounded from the demonstration had been taken, Dr Abid Hussain of Sher-E-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences said.

Angry crowd

The strike came a day after one civilian was shot dead and another wounded when a soldier opened fire on an angry crowd.

Shops and schools were closed after a
seperatist group called a strike [EPA]

The crowd had reportedly been upset by the soldier taking a local woman to a guesthhouse near an army camp in Kangan, 40km northeast of Srinagar.

Once outside, the soldier fired on the crowd in panic and then shot himself, Farooq Ahmed, a senior police officer, told the Associated Press.

After the shooting, about 2,000 villagers took to the streets shouting slogans against India and the military and blocked a road.

The strike was called by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a Kashmiri separatist leader, after accusations that police in the Himalayan state killed civilians and then claimed the victims were separatist fighters, in order to earn rewards and promotions.


Earlier this year, authorities charged more than a dozen policemen and soldiers with killing at least two civilians in separate shootings that the perpetrators had alleged were “gun battles”.

The killings triggered widespread protests across the Muslim-majority region where officials say more than 42,000 people have been killed since a revolt against Indian rule broke out in 1989.

Human rights groups put the toll at about 60,000.

Indian authorities deny systematic rights violations have taken place in Kashmir and say all reports are investigated and those found guilty are punished.

A Pakistan-based alliance of Muslim groups, the United Jihad Council (UJC), fighting for the secession of Muslim-majority Kashmir from mainly Hindu India, supported the strike call which also closed most schools and colleges in Srinagar.

Source: News Agencies


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