Two dozen hurt in fresh Indian Kashmir clashes

3 September

About 24 people were hurt Friday in new clashes between government forces and Muslim protesters in Indian Kashmir, where weeks of unrest have left over 60 people dead.

Five people were hurt when security forces opened fire to quell stone-throwing protesters in northern Baramulla town Friday evening, a police statement said.

Two seriously injured people were shifted to the main hospital in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir.

Some 19 more people, including eight policemen, were injured in clashes between security forces and anti-India protesters at four more locations across Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, police said.

About 65 protesters and bystanders have been killed over the past 11 weeks, mostly by security forces who have opened fire on rallies after being pelted with stones.

Government forces have struggled to contain the outpouring of anger triggered by the police killing of a schoolboy in early June. Protests against Indian rule began in Srinagar and have spread through the valley.

Meanwhile, thousands of people Friday defied a ban on protest marches and held a fresh demonstration in Srinagar.

Chanting, “Go India, go back!” protesters emerged from the region’s main mosque Jamia Masjid in Srinagar and marched through the streets.

They were led by top separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the head imam at the mosque.

Senior separatists Syed Ali Geelani and Yasin Malik led two separate rallies against Indian rule in Srinagar and the neighbouring district of Budgam.

Separatists have threatened to continue the protests until India declares Kashmir an “international dispute,” pulls out troops from inhabited areas, repeals tough security laws and releases all political prisoners.

Separatists have spurned recent offers of talks by New Delhi in protest against the killings by security forces.

Kashmir has faced rolling curfews and separatist-sponsored strikes since the first killing on June 11.

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