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Kashmir boils: India unable to control insurrection

Kashmir boils: India unable to control insurrection

SRINAGAR: Indian security forces widened a curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir on Friday to contain violent protests over the killing of locals amid fresh attacks that injured two policemen, officials said.

“We have widened the curfew to ensure a violence-free Friday,” a police officer, who declined to be named, told AFP.

Towns such as Kupwara and Handwara in the north, Kakpora and Pulwama in south and Gandherbal in the east were placed under fresh curfew. Violent flashpoints such as Sopore, Srinagar and Anantnag remain restricted.

In Sopore, suspected militants launched three gun and grenade attacks on security forces Friday that left a policeman and a paramilitary trooper injured, a police spokesman said.

Indian police and paramilitary forces, who have been struggling to control the wave of protests in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, have been accused of killing 15 civilians in less than a month.

Each death has sparked a new cycle of violence since the first killing of a 17-year old student by a police teargas shell during protests June 11 in Srinagar.

Hardline separatists urged residents to march to the region’s revered Muslim shrine of Hazratbal in Srinagar on Friday. Two men and a woman were killed in the city on Tuesday.

“Whenever the curfew is relaxed in any of the areas, people are requested to come out on the streets and continue with a peaceful sit-in,” a statement by hardliners said.

The army was called in on Wednesday in Srinagar after residents defied curfew restrictions and held protests. Their presence brought calm to the streets.

No local newspapers hit the stands for the second day running amid tight restrictions on the local and international media. Passes allowing journalists to travel in Srinagar despite the curfew have been cancelled.

“Due to the curbs imposed by the government on media, Greater Kashmir and Kashmir Uzma could not bring out their print editions for second consecutive day, Friday,” said the website of the two leading local newspapers.

The state’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, under pressure to contain the violence, held a meeting with top police and intelligence officials on Friday, a police source said.

Top leaders in the ruling Congress party also met in New Delhi to be briefed by Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Press Trust of Indian news agency reported. —AFP

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