The Edition


Hundreds of protestors clash with police in Indian Kashmir

17 August 2019, MVT 13:14
Pakistani riot policemen prevent protesters as they try to reach the Indian High Commission during a protest rally in Islamabad on August 15, 2019, as the country observes a 'Black Day' on India's Independence Day over the recent move to strip Indian-administered Kashmir of its autonomy. - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed on August 15 his "path-breaking" move to strip Kashmir of its autonomy, as his Pakistani counterpart warned of possible "ethnic cleansing". (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI / AFP)
17 August 2019, MVT 13:14

Hundreds of protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir clashed with police on Friday who responded with tear gas rounds and pellet-firing shotguns, an AFP reporter at the scene said.

The clashes broke out after several thousand people rallied in the main city of Srinagar, where a security lockdown entered its 12th straight day after New Delhi stripped Kashmir of its autonomy.

No injuries were reported.

The protesters rallied inside the Srinagar locality of Soura that has witnessed regular protests since New Delhi announced its surprise move on August 5.

Police attempted to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to march down the main road.

Protesters hurled stones and used shop hoardings and tin sheets as improvised shields, as police shot dozens of rounds into the crowd.

A drone kept vigil over the area as thousands of men and women gathered inside a popular shrine.

"We are trying to breach the siege and march to the city centre but police is using force to stop us," one protester told AFP, adding that three people were injured on Thursday in clashes with police officers and reservists.

Sporadic clashes were also reported in other parts of the Kashmir Valley, the main hotbed of resistance to Indian rule for decades, where communications have been cut off for nearly two weeks.

Major towns and cities in the restive valley remained under curfew, with government forces allowing people to move only on special passes.

Government forces erected steep barricades and used concertina wires to block roads.

No big gatherings were allowed in the valley and most mosques were shut for the second consecutive Friday.

"We want what is ours. We are not begging for anything but demand India should respect its promises," another protester told AFP.

"We will not sit back until we achieve complete independence from India," he said.

The protesters marched inside the lanes, carrying black flags -- signifying grief -- and placards with slogans including "Go India, go back".

Srinagar, India | AFP