India forces clash with Kashmir protesters
Clashes have broken out between Indian forces and demonstrators protesting in the Indian-administered Kashmir, Press TV reports.
On Saturday, after Eid al-Fitr prayers, thousands of pro-independence demonstrators poured onto the streets of Srinagar, the region’s main city, to express resentment against the Indian rule over the Muslim-majority region.
Similar demonstrations were also held across other major cities and towns of the Himalayan valley.
The protesters also chanted pro-freedom and anti-New Delhi slogans during the demonstrations.
The demonstrations were largely peaceful until Indian forces attacked protesters and fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse the angry crowds. The protesters threw stones at Indian forces in return.
Talking to Press TV in Srinagar, protesters urged the international community to fulfill its responsibilities toward people of Kashmir.
“Each day for us would be Eid, when we will be free. We are reminding the world that … it has responsibility toward the people of Kashmir, and we must be allowed to exercise our right,” a protester (shown above) told Press TV in Srinagar.
“How can we forget those who died for the cause of freedom, those who are in jails. Eid is the day of happiness, but for us it reminds us of our lost loved ones,” another protester (shown below) said.
People across the disputed region of Kashmir marked Eid al-Fitr by holding protests against India’s rule. Kashmiri pro-independence leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani had earlier called for anti-India demonstrations ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festivities.
Indian authorities have deployed large contingents of police and paramilitary troops to most parts of Srinagar and several other major towns to prevent street demonstrations.
Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 67 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it.
The arch rivals agreed on a ceasefire in 2003, and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire.