Forty Injured As Indian Police Break Up Kashmir Protests

4 October 2009

Srinagar: Forty people were wounded when Indian police fired teargas and used batons to disperse Kashmiris protesting against the death of a boy during anti-India protests, police said Sunday. The 12-year-boy died Friday in clashes between police and stone-throwing youths demonstrating against Indian rule in the town of Baramulla, 55 kilometres north of summer capital Srinagar. The boy died after a teargas cannister hit his head, residents said. Authorities have ordered a probe after residents demanded punishment for the policemen involved in the incident. Baramulla has been hit by violent protests after the death. Police on Sunday fired teargas cannisters and swung batons to break up the protesters, who shouted: 'We want freedom' and 'blood for blood.' Angry protesters retaliated by hurling stones at police. 'Some 30 policemen were wounded during the clashes with protesters on Saturday and Sunday,' a police spokesman said, adding 10 protesters were also hurt during the clashes. 'Adequate security forces have been deployed to deal with the situation,' a police spokesman said, adding a protest ban has also been put in place. Security was also tight in neighbouring Sopore town where similar protests were staged against the killing. Veteran separatist Yasin Malik and a dozen of his party members were detained by police Saturday just outside Srinagar as they headed to Baramulla, the police spokesman said. 'They were set free in the evening,' he told AFP. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the Muslim-dominated region, which is in the grip of a two-decade-old insurgency against Indian rule that has left more than 47,000 people dead by official count. Last year the scenic Himalayan region witnessed some of its biggest anti-India demonstrations. Since May, there have been more such protests in the region over the alleged rape and murder of two Muslim women whose bodies were recovered from a stream.