24 injured in clashes with forces; 4,000
detained in occupied Kashmir
Indian authorities reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of occupied Kashmir’s biggest city, Srinagar, on Sunday after violent overnight clashes between residents and police in which dozens were injured, two senior officials and eyewitnesses said.
In the past 24 hours, there has been a series of protests against New Delhi’s August 5 revocation of the occupied region’s autonomy. This followed an easing in curbs on movement on Saturday morning.
The state government has said that it has not imposed a curfew over the past two weeks, but on Sunday people were being turned back at multiple roadblocks set up in the city in the past few hours.
Two senior government officials told Reuters that at least two dozen people were admitted to hospitals with pellet injuries after violent clashes broke out in the old city.
One of the official sources said that people pelted security forces with stones in around two dozen places across Srinagar. He said that the intensity of the stone pelting protests has increased over the past few days.
The heavy overnight clashes took place mostly in Rainawari, Nowhetta and Gojwara areas of the old city where Indian troops fired tear gas, chilli grenades and pellet guns to disperse protesters, eyewitnesses and officials said. Chilli grenades contain very spicy chili pepper, and produce a major eye and skin irritant, as well as a pungent smell, when they are unleashed.
A magistrate, speaking to AFP, said that at least 4,000 people were arrested and held under the Public Safety Act, a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial. Soldiers on Sunday still manned nearly deserted streets and limited movement of the few pedestrians who came out of their homes in Srinagar.
“Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity,” the magistrate said.— AFP