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Violent clashes erupt in Kashmir

27 August 2010 17:16

Fresh clashes erupt between protesters and government forces in Indian-administered Kashmir where unrest has claimed dozens of lives over the past two months.

Thousands of protesters shouted anti-Indian slogans during a pro-independence rally in Srinagar on Friday.

The demonstrators also throw bottles and stones at Indian security forces to protest the continuous killing of civilians in the volatile valley.

The Indian troops fired tear gas in return and used batons to disperse the protesters.

On Thursday, ten policemen and five protesters were wounded in similar clashes.

“Ten policemen were injured when a huge mob pelted stones on a police station in Sopore late Thursday evening,” AFP quoted a police statement as saying.

Indian troops have regularly opened fire to control on protesters over the past few months.

The Muslim-majority region has been under rolling curfews since mid-June.

The death of a teenage student on June 11 triggered the new round of rallies. More than 60 people have lost their lives ever since.

The government has replaced more than a dozen senior security officers to restore calm in the region.

“In all over a dozen senior police officers have been transferred,” said a statement late Thursday.

The shake-up came hours after the Indian Prime Minister urged a change in police tactics in the region.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in recent remarks has questioned tactics employed by troops in the disputed region.

Singh has urged “non-lethal, yet effective and more focused, measures” to be taken in Kashmir.

A Press TV correspondent said in on Friday that the Indian-administered Kashmir Valley has lost over 1,500 working days — or nearly four years — over 20 years of turmoil.

Strike calls and curfews have dealt a crippling blow to the region’s economy.

Thousands have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989.

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