Kashmir unrest: Protesting students clash with police

Violence breaks out as students protest a police raid on a college amid rising tensions in Indian-administered Kashmir.

At least 100 Kashmiri students have been wounded during clashes with security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir as anger over a weekend police raid on a college led to protests.

Police on Monday fired tear gas and rubber bullets as demonstrations broke out in the main city of Srinagar before spreading to other parts of the Kashmir Valley.

“We were peacefully protesting; our brothers were being thrashed inside (the college), we came for their support as we couldn’t tolerate this,” Isma, a student participating in the protest, told Al Jazeera. 

The Kashmir University Students Union, a banned student body, had called for protests in all colleges and universities after more than 50 students were wounded on Saturday in clashes with security forces at a college in southern Kashmir’s Pulwama town.

Students in Pulwama alleged that police and paramilitary troops fired pellets and tear gas as they raided the college to try to arrest students involved in anti-India protests in the area. 

In a statement, the union said the police action was designed to help the state “rule by repression and fear”.

“Here we are facing oppression, from one year we are facing oppression, we are not going to tolerate this oppression, we cannot tolerate more.”

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Tensions have once again flared in Kashmir in recent days, following the killing of eight people by police and paramilitary troops during clashes in an April 9 by-election.

On Friday, an 11-second clip posted on social media sparked further outrage, as it showed a man tied to a jeep and used as a “human shield” by soldiers in Kashmir to protect them from demonstrators hurling stones.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in its entirety.

Rebel groups in Indian Kashmir have for decades battled with troops and police, demanding independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.

India accuses Pakistan of backing separatist fighters – a charge Islamabad denies.

Armed encounters between rebels and government forces have become more frequent since the killing of a popular rebel leader by security forces last July sparked widespread unrest.

The violence has killed scores of civilians and wounded more than 12,000 civilians and security force personnel.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies