DesPardes + PKonweb

Clashes During Kashmir Protest on Friday

DESPARDES — Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Indian Kashmir on Friday over New Delhi’s move to withdraw the occupied territory’s semi-autonomous status, report Reuters.

Security forces also clashed with protesters in the city of Srinagar, BBC reports.

People were demonstrating after Friday prayers in the Soura neighborhood of Srinagar.

A call for the protest march was given by the resistance leaders through posters appearing in Srinagar and other parts of the occupied valley on Friday.

The march turned violent as protesters threw stones at security forces, who retaliated with tear gas and pellets. At least two were injured.

Tensions have been escalating in the occupied valley since the Indian government removed the region’s partial autonomy three weeks ago.

Information has also been scarce, as internet and mobile networks have mostly been blocked.

BBC correspondent at the scene reported one man was seen bleeding from his eye and another had suffered a neck injury.

The final number of wounded protesters may remain unclear. Many people who are injured with pellets do not go to hospital for fear of being arrested.

Media reports said Indian authorities had tightened curfew and other restrictions to prevent people from holding a protest demonstration outside the UN office in Srinagar after Friday prayers.

Kashmiris have been protesting against India’s provocative August 5 move and its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Preachers in all mosques [in their Friday prayers sermons] should make the people aware of India’s plans to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir,” handbills written in Urdu said.

The people were urged to join the march to convey to India and the world that the Kashmiris would not accept Indian occupation over their territory. The protest was also aimed at resisting the Indian attempt to change the demography of IOK by settling outsiders in the occupied territory.