Indian Kashmir shut down after troops kill protestors

July 19, 2013 | By More

July 19, – Separatist groups called a strike across Jammu and Kashmir as a mark of protest against the violence in Jammu’s Ramban district

hromedia Indian Kashmir shut down after troops kill protestors intl. news2

Major towns in Indian-administered Kashmir are under curfew, a day after four people were killed when troops opened fire on angry protesters.

Police initially said six people were killed, but revised these figures.

Some reports said the protest came after forces entered a mosque, with allegations they beat a cleric too. Angry crowds then gathered outside the Border Security Force (BSF) camp in Ramban, with troops ultimately opening fire, reports said. More than 40 people were injured. Some are in a critical condition.

Kashmir, claimed by India and Pakistan, has seen protests and an insurgency against Indian rule since 1989. A BSF official said troops fired when a “mob attacked” the base where arms and ammunition were stored, the Agence France-Presse news agency reports.

“We are a professional force. We respect all the tenets of all religions,” the agency quoted BSF inspector general Rajeev Krishan as saying.

Protest strike

A curfew is in place in all areas of Srinagar, Budgam, Ganderbal and Bandipora districts and Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam, Anantnag, Bijbehara and Sopore towns, reports from the state capital, Srinagar, said. A large number of police and paramilitaries have been deployed to ensure calm.

Meanwhile, a three-day strike called by the separatists to protest against the firing, has shut down the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley. Shops and businesses are closed and college and university examinations have been postponed, BBC Urdu’s Riyaz Masroor reports from Srinagar.

About 1,000 Hindu pilgrims who are in Jammu to participate in the annual trek to the Amarnath cave shrine have also been stopped.

Hundreds of paramilitary personnel wearing full riot gear are marching the streets in Srinagar and elsewhere to enforce the curfew in the region, our correspondent says. India’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has called the incident “regrettable” and ordered an inquiry.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has also condemned the killings.

“It is highly unacceptable to shoot at unarmed protesters just because they were reportedly protesting [against the] manhandling of an Imam [Muslim cleric] of their area,” he said in a statement.

In recent years violence in the region has abated from its peak in the 1990s, but the causes of the Kashmir insurgency are still far from resolved.

Press journalist for HRO media – Dawar Shah, reports from the region.

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Category: International

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