Pakistan

Indian authorities re-impose curfew in Kashmir

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SRINAGAR, INDIAN–HELD KASHMIR: Authorities on Friday re-imposed a curfew in the disputed valley to prevent a protest march to the main mosque called by Hurriyat leaders.

Kashmiris have been asked by Indian forces to stay indoors.

Key Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik called for the protest march to the main Jamia Masjid mosque on Friday before the afternoon prayers and at other places in the Kashmir Valley after the weekly Muslim prayers.

Authorities have put Geelani and Mirwaiz Farooq under house arrest, and Malik in a police lockup to prevent them from leading the protest, police said.

Mirwaiz Farooq has condemned the use of excessive force by India to sabotage their march towards Kulgam and said that stopping them from paying tributes to the martyrs is extreme form of oppression and barbarism.

The divided Kashmir witnessed clashes between Indian forces and protesters even as the curfew that was in place since July 9 violence, triggered by the killing of a pro-independence leader Burhan Wani a day before, was lifted on Thursday.

Doctors in the main hospital said they treated dozens of people, most of them with pellet injuries from weapons fired by security forces.

Indian forces apparently continued using pellet guns despite caution from India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh to minimise their use because of serious eye injuries to protesters, some of whom have been blinded.

Shops, businesses and schools remained closed as separatists asked people to hold strikes and street protests until Friday.

So far, killed more than 60 civilians, mostly teenagers and young men, have been killed as Indian forces fired live ammunition and pellets. Reports suggest that around 2,000 civilians have also been injured in the clashes.

Kashmir, a predominantly Muslim region, is divided between India and Pakistan, but both claim it in its entirety. The rivals have fought two wars over control of Kashmir since independence from Britain in 1947.

India has always accused Pakistan of arming and training Kashmiri rebels who have been fighting since 1989 for independence for Kashmir or its merger with Pakistan.

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