Kashmir unrest has killed 30 mainly peaceful protesters

Indian occupation forces in Kashmir

Police in Indian-occupied Kashmir have confirmed that at least 30 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and Indian security forces following the shooting of a well-known resistance leader.

Burhan Wani, 22, died in a gunfight with the Indian army on Friday.

More deaths were reported on Monday after a weekend of violence left 23 dead, mainly protesters.

The violence is the worst seen in the region for years. Some 1,000 extra troops are being sent to “help restore order”.

More than 200 civilians have been injured in the clashes, in which government forces have fired live rounds and tear gas.

A curfew is in place across much of the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley after a police post was set alight and a military airbase targeted during the latest clashes.

Disputed Kashmir is claimed by both India and Pakistan and has been a disputed area for more than 60 years, sparking two wars between the countries.

 

Within the disputed Muslim-majority territory, some resistance groups have taken up arms to fight for independence from Indian rule or a merger with Pakistan.

The last episode of serious violence in the region was in the summer of 2010, when more than 100 people died in anti-India protests, which broke out after police shot dead a teenager.

Burhan Wani

Burhan Wani is mainly credited with reviving the concept of armed resistance in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Burhan Wani
Burhan Wani

Born to a very educated Kashmiri family, Wani is believed to have been attracted to the resistance movement at the age of 15, when he and his brother were beaten up badly by Indian police.

Wani was active on social media and, unlike resistance fighters in the past, did not hide his identity.

His videos which would often go viral in Kashmir, were on the topics of Indian oppression, and the need for the youth to stand up to oppression.

Indian officials have said that he was instrumental in persuading local boys to take up arms.

Curfew

Almost all the dead in the current outbreak of violence are Kashmiri Muslim protesters.

Four senior resistance leaders released a joint statement where they called on the Indian government to “abandon the policy of stopping people’s marches by bullets”.

Thousands attended Wani’s funeral which was held in his hometown of Tral, about 25 miles south of Srinagar, on Saturday.

The state government has said that it would also investigate reports of excessive police violence towards unarmed protesters.

Human rights groups have described the current situation as a state of emergency.

Hospitals struggled to cope with wounded protesters and phone and internet services were suspended.

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