- Battles between ‘freedom fighters and government forces have left 15 dead, including seven civilians, in the past week
SRINAGAR: Hundreds of protesters clashed on Tuesday with Indian forces on the third day of deadly troubles in India-held Kashmir as the disputed Himalayan territory reeled from the killing of a tourist drawn into the unrest.
A Kashmiri man injured in earlier clashes died in hospital on Tuesday, setting off the new battles. Six Kashmiri civilians have now died in protests since a weekend siege in which security forces “killed five suspects”.
As news of the latest death spread in Shopian district, south of the state’s main city Srinagar, residents poured onto the streets, throwing stones at security forces who fired shotgun pellets and tear gas, witnesses said.
A police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at least three people were critically injured in the clashes.
Shops and schools shut across the Kashmir valley following a protest call by separatists opposed to Indian rule. Hundreds of police in riot gear patrolled the old quarters of Srinagar amid a new curfew.
On Monday, a tourist from India’s southern Tamil Nadu state was killed when the vehicle he was travelling in was hit by stones as it drove into a protest outside Srinagar.
Stone throwing is a regular tactic in battles between young protesters and security forces.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the attack on tourists as hooliganism.
“It is totally against our ethos of treating tourists as respected guests and brings a bad name to the people’s movement,” Farooq said in a tweet.
R. Thirumani, 22, was going to join his family in the tourist resort of Gulmarg when he was critically injured.
“He was hit in the head by a stone. On reaching a hospital, he vomited which went into his lungs and choked him to death,” Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police in Indian-administered Kashmir, told AFP.
The restive territory has become increasingly tense in recent weeks.
Battles between freedom fighters and government forces have left 15 dead, including seven civilians, in the past week.