Students clash with police across India-administered Kashmir

Over 100 students were injured in protests organised against a police raid on a college in southern Pulwama district last week. In that raid over 60 students were injured in clashes between stone-hurling students and Indian police.

Photo by: (AFP)
Photo by: (AFP)

Kashmir has been tense since April 9, when eight people were killed by police and paramilitary troops during election day violence.

Hundreds of students clashed with government forces in major cities of India-administered Kashmir during protests on Monday against a police raid on a college, as tensions ran high in the restive region.

Around 100 students were injured as police used batons and tear gas to try to quell the protests, which broke out in the main city of Srinagar before spreading to other parts of Kashmir. 

Teenagers in school uniforms were among the protesters, who chanted anti-India slogans and threw stones at government forces. 

How did Monday's protests start?

A student union had called for protests after police on Saturday tried to raid a college in the southern district of Pulwama to round up suspects from recent violent demonstrations, sparking clashes in which at least 60 students were injured.

India-administered Kashmir has been tense since April 9, when eight people were killed by police and paramilitary troops during election day violence.

On Saturday, a street vendor was shot dead by India's Border Security Force and on Sunday three people were killed by suspected rebels, one a former counter-insurgent. 

Footage apparently showing a civilian tied to the front of an army jeep to deter protesters from throwing stones at the vehicle has also caused outrage after it was circulated on social media last week. 

The army has launched an investigation into the incident and police have registered a case although no arrests have yet been made.

The Kashmir University Students Union, a banned student body, had called for protests in all colleges and universities following Saturday's incident.

Government forces are not supposed to enter college or university premises without special permission, and on Saturday, the outlawed union said the police action was designed to help the state "rule by repression and fear".

Students of women's college in Srinagar gathered to express solidarity with those injured in last week's clashes. [AFP]

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British rule in 1947. Both claim the territory in its entirety. 

Anti-India sentiments remain deep in Kashmir where majority of people want Independence or the merger of the territory with neighbouring Pakistan.

Armed encounters between rebels fighting Indian rule and government forces have become more frequent since the killing of a popular rebel leader by Indian troops last July sparked widespread unrest. 

Police and army officials say dozens of local youths have joined the rebel ranks since then.

TRTWorld and agencies