Indian policemen chase Kashmiri mourners as the dead bodies of Muzaffar Bhat and Fayaz Ahamed Wani lie unattended on the ground during their funeral procession on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Government forces fired on hundreds of rock-throwing protesters in Indian Kashmir on Tuesday, killing Wani and wounding two others as a seven-day curfew was lifted, locals and officials said. Bhat was allegedly killed by paramilitary soldiers Monday (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
By AIJAZ HUSSAIN (AP)
SRINAGAR, India — Indian forces opened fire on hundreds of rock-throwing protesters in Kashmir killing three people as authorities re-imposed a curfew in the region’s main city amid increasingly violent demonstrations against alleged human rights abuses.
Security forces initially used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. When that failed, paramilitary soldiers opened fire with live ammunition, he said.
Fayaz Ahmed Wani, a 35-year-old protester, was killed and two others were wounded, the officer said.
Protests against Indian rule in the Himalayan region have grown increasingly strident in recent weeks with Kashmiri people accusing government forces of killing at least 15 people during street demonstrations. The recent unrest had prompted authorities to impose a curfew in most parts of Kashmir.
As the news of Wani’s killing spread, separatist activists in the main city of Srinagar used the public address systems of mosques asking people to join the protest.
“Our protests and civil disobedience will continue until India withdraws its military and paramilitary soldiers from all populated areas,” said Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a key separatist leader who led thousands of marchers in downtown Srinagar.
Carrying black and green flags, the protesters chanted “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom” as they marched through the streets.
The curfew was lifted Tuesday until the latest clashes in Srinagar prompted authorities to enforce it again. Continue reading