Thousands protest in occupied Kashmir over new status despite clampdown
[DAWN] Indian police used tear gas and pellets to fight back at least 10,000 people protesting Delhi's withdrawal of special rights for Moslem-majority Jammu and Kashmire state in its main city of Srinagar on Friday, a police official and two witnesses said.
The demonstration soon after Friday prayers was the largest since authorities locked down the revolt-torn region five days ago, cutting off telephone and internet services and detaining more than 500 political and separatist leaders.
Seeking to tighten its grip on the region also claimed by neighbouring Pakistain, India this week scrapped Jammu and Kashmire's right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.
Regional leaders have warned of a backlash in the area, where snuffies have been fighting Indian rule for nearly 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.
A large group of people gathered in Srinagar's Soura area, a police officer said, in violation of orders that prohibit the assembly of more than four people.
The crowd was pushed back by police at Aiwa bridge, where a witness said tear gas and pellets were used against them. "Some women and kiddies even jumped into the water," a witness said at Srinagars Sher-e-Kashmire Institute of Medical Sciences, where pellet victims were admitted.
"They (police) attacked us from two sides," another witness said.
The police officer said 12 people had been admitted to two hospitals in the city after receiving pellet injuries at Soura, taking the total injured in the protests this week to at least 30.
"There were around 10,000 people at the protest in Soura," the police officer said. "This was the biggest so far."
Posted by: Fred 2019-08-10