India imposes curfew in Kashmir following deadly protests

India imposes curfew in Kashmir to stop protests emerging after Indian Army kills three civilians and soldier allegedly sexually assaults teenage girl

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Kashmiri Muslims carry the body of Bilal Ahamd, a suspected militant, during his funeral in Karimabad village in south Kashmir April 6, 2016.

The Indian administration imposed a curfew in parts of Kashmir on Wednesday to stop anti-India demonstrations emerging after the Indian Army killed three civilians by gunfire resulting in a general strike call by local residents.

Government forces carrying automatic rifles patrolled the curfew-bound areas of Srinagar, Handwara and its neighbourhoods.

Shops and schools were closed and streets were deserted.

The protest in the northern town of Hardware erupted on Tuesday after an Indian Army soldier allegedly tried to sexually assault a teenage school girl in Handwara. The Indian Army ordered a probe into the accusation.

Human rights groups have long accused the Indian military of using rape and sexual molestation to oppress the majority Muslim population of Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslim girls attend the funeral of Bilal Ahamd, a suspected militant, in Karimabad village in south Kashmir April 6, 2016.

Three people were killed and dozens of others were injured during massive clashes between local residents and government forces on Tuesday.

Police stated that two died from army gunfire and another victim, a 70-year-old woman, who was among the injured also died in the hospital on Wednesday.

"She was working in her orchard four kilometres (2 miles) away from the protest site. The soldiers came and shot her. It's a plain murder," said villager Ghulam Mohammed Shah.

The woman's last rites were performed amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, however the two men have not been buried yet.

Shortly after the old women’s burial, clashes erupted. Government forces fired tear gas to villagers who defied the curfew.

A Kashmiri Muslim woman mourns during the funeral of Waseem Ahmad Malla, a suspected militant, in Pehlipora village in Shopian district in south Kashmir April 7, 2016.

Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since the British colonialists left the region in 1947.

Both the Indian and Pakistani administration claim full authority over the region.

Rebel groups have been fighting for independence since 1989.

More than 68,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the armed uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown.

TRTWorld and agencies