Breaking News Bar
updated: 4/1/2018 9:15 AM

Anti-India protests erupt in Kashmir amid deadly fighting

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Kashmiri villagers offer funeral prayers near the body of Zubar Ahmad, one of the killed rebels at Shopian, south of Srinagar, India, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said. At least two army soldiers were also killed in the fighting.

    Kashmiri villagers offer funeral prayers near the body of Zubar Ahmad, one of the killed rebels at Shopian, south of Srinagar, India, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said. At least two army soldiers were also killed in the fighting.
    Associated Press

  • A masked Kashmiri protester shouts slogans as he stands amid tear gas smoke during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.

    A masked Kashmiri protester shouts slogans as he stands amid tear gas smoke during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • An Indian paramilitary soldier uses a sling to project glass marbles at Kashmiri protesters during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.

    An Indian paramilitary soldier uses a sling to project glass marbles at Kashmiri protesters during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • Kashmiri protesters engulfed in tear gas smoke clash with Indian paramilitary soldiers during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.

    Kashmiri protesters engulfed in tear gas smoke clash with Indian paramilitary soldiers during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.
    Associated Press

  • Indian paramilitary soldier center, fires tear gas shell towards Kashmiri protester during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.

    Indian paramilitary soldier center, fires tear gas shell towards Kashmiri protester during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.
    Associated Press

  • Kashmiri protesters throw stones and bricks at Indian paramilitary soldier during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.

    Kashmiri protesters throw stones and bricks at Indian paramilitary soldier during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.
    Associated Press

  • Kashmiri protester throw stones at Indian paramilitary soldier during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.

    Kashmiri protester throw stones at Indian paramilitary soldier during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. At least eight rebels have been killed in fighting with Indian troops in disputed Kashmir, triggering a new round of anti-India protests and clashes, officials said Sunday.
    Associated Press

  • An Indian paramilitary soldier uses a piece of wood to remove a tear gas shell jammed in his gun during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.

    An Indian paramilitary soldier uses a piece of wood to remove a tear gas shell jammed in his gun during a protest against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • Kashmiri men carry a wounded man at a hospital after he got hit by pellets fired by Indian forces during a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.

    Kashmiri men carry a wounded man at a hospital after he got hit by pellets fired by Indian forces during a protest in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • Indian paramilitary soldiers remove road barricade set up by Kashmiris protesting against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.

    Indian paramilitary soldiers remove road barricade set up by Kashmiris protesting against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.
    Associated Press

  • Indian paramilitary soldiers take cover behind an auto rickshaw as they chase Kashmiris protesting against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.

    Indian paramilitary soldiers take cover behind an auto rickshaw as they chase Kashmiris protesting against the killing of rebels in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Sunday, April 1, 2018. Deadly protests against Indian rule erupted in several parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Sunday following the killings of at least eight rebels in fighting with government forces, officials said.
    Associated Press

 
 

SRINAGAR, India -- Massive anti-India protests erupted in several parts of the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir on Sunday amid fierce fighting between rebels and government forces that left at least 12 militants and three army soldiers dead, officials said.

At least four civilians were killed and dozens injured in the latest round of anti-India protests, which broke out after Indian troops launched counterinsurgency operations targeting mainly the southern parts of disputed Kashmir, where new-age rebels have revived militancy and challenged New Delhi's rule with guns and effective use of social media.

In recent years, Kashmiris, mainly youths, have displayed open solidarity with anti-India rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations against the militants. The protests have persisted despite the Indian army chief warning recently that tough action would be taken against stone throwers during counterinsurgency operations.

Thousands of Kashmiris hit the streets on Sunday, chanting anti-India slogans and demanding an end to Indian rule over Kashmir as troops launched anti-rebel operations in three southern villages.

By the time, authorities handed over the bodies of some of the slain rebels to their families, tens of thousands had gathered to attend their funerals while shouting slogans like "Go India, go back" and "We want freedom."

The gunbattles - the deadliest this year in Kashmir - began overnight after government forces raided three southern villages following a tip that rebels were hiding there, police said.

They said that after the government forces came under fire, the militants tried to escape from a security cordon while firing their guns and grenades but were killed in the ensuing fighting.

At least 11 militants, including some commanders, were killed in two separate gunbattles in the Shopian area, while one rebel was killed and another captured in Anantnag, said top police officer S.P. Vaid.

Three soldiers were killed and at least six police and soldiers were wounded, Vaid said.

While eight of the dead militants were identified as local cadres of Kashmir's largest rebel group, Hizbul Mujahideen, troops were still clearing off the rubble of a destroyed house at a third gunbattle site where bodies of three militants were lying, Vaid said.

Local residents said soldiers blasted several civilian homes with explosives while fighting the militants.

The Indian army's chief in Kashmir, Lt. Gen. A.K. Bhatt, warned the militants to give up their arms or they would be "neutralized."

"Anybody who uses weapons (against the state) will be dealt with in the same manner we dealt with the terrorists today," Bhatt told reporters.

Top separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said Sunday's violence was "more havoc for Kashmiris, who are at the receiving end of execution and repression."

"Kashmiris will continue to die or be forced to pick up arms for resistance as long as India addresses the political and humanitarian problem of Kashmir through a military approach and through force," he said.

No rebel group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about Sunday's fighting.

As the fighting raged, anti-India protests erupted in several villages in southern Kashmir.

Many protesters also tried to march to the gunbattle sites to help the trapped militants escape, leading to clashes between rock-throwing residents and government forces who fired live ammunition, shotgun pellets and tear gas.

According to hospital officials and police, four civilians were killed and dozens injured, some hit in their eyes by pellets.

Authorities stopped train services and cut cellphone internet services in the most restive towns, and reduced connection speeds in other parts of the Kashmir Valley, a common government practice aimed to calm tensions and prevent anti-India demonstrations from being organized. They also ordered curfews in some southern areas.

Officials ordered all schools and colleges closed on Monday to stop anti-India protests by the students.

Several protests and clashes also erupted in Srinagar and other parts of the disputed region.

Separatist leaders who challenge India's sovereignty over Kashmir have called for a shutdown on Monday against the killings.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety.

Pakistan condemned Sunday's violence and expressed solidarity with Kashmiris.

"This mindless killing spree exposes, yet again, the ugly, inhuman face of the state-terrorism that India has been perpetrating against the Kashmiris for decades," Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which in recent years has seen renewed rebel attacks and repeated public protests against Indian rule.

Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or become an independent country. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels' cause against Indian rule while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.

Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.