Violent clashes in Indian-administered Kashmir after youth dies in custody

August 1st, 2011 - 3:24 am ICT by BNO News  

SRINAGAR, KASHMIR (BNO NEWS) — At least six people were injured on Sunday during violent clashes between government forces and protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir following the death of a youth in police custody.

According to eyewitnesses, hundreds of people took to the streets to stage pro-freedom and anti-India demonstrations in Sopore town of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the Kashmir Dispatch reported. Demonstrators marched to protest the custodial death of Nazim Rashid, who was arrested by police on Saturday.

The protesters were demanding stern action against the policemen responsible for the death of the youth, when the police deployed in strength used batons to disperse them. In retaliation, angry youth pelted stones on the forces. 

“Forces lobbed several tear gas canisters after they failed to break up the demonstration. At least six youth suffered injuries in the clashes,” eyewitnesses said, as cited by the Kashmir Dispatch.

Later, thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of the youth who was allegedly killed in police custody on Sunday morning. Chanting “We want freedom” and “Nazim your blood will bring revolution,” the mourners carried the body of the slain youth in a procession that passed through different localities.

Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah described the killing as a gross human rights violation, as reported by the Greater Kashmir. Meanwhile, other media reports said that two cops had been placed under suspension over the alleged killing.

Police are currently investigating the incident.

Last week, protesters also clashed with security forces in Kashmir after they went on a rampage over the alleged abduction and rape of a woman by unidentified army personnel.

A guerrilla war has been going on between militants and the Indian troops stationed in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which is divided into parts administered by India and Pakistan. Militant groups are usually blamed for attacks, while soldiers have been accused of rights abuses.

The government says more than 45,000 people - including civilians, militants and troops - have died in the region over the past two decades.

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