Police have fired tear gas at anti-Indian protesters in the divided Kashmir province, after hundreds of students took to the streets to decry a police raid in a college. Several people have been killed in recent days.
The clashes first broke out in Kashmir's key city of Srinagar on Monday and spread to other parts of the predominantly Muslim region later in the day. Dozens of people were reported injured as students pelted police with stones and security forces fired tear gas and shotgun pellets.
Srinagar protesters chanted slogans "Go India, go back" and "We want freedom," with the rally turning violent as the police tried to stop them from marching through the city's main business area.
The latest unrest was triggered by a police raid on a college in Pulwama district over the weekend. Indian police and paramilitaries allegedly raided the facility in search of students involved in anti-India protest. At least 50 students were injured, according to reports.
The banned Kashmir University Students Union decried the police action, saying it highlighted India's policy to "rule by repression and fear."
Use of human shield sparks anger
Kashmir has been facing a wave of violence since the local elections on April 9, when government troops killed eight people in deadly clashes. Several more people have lost their lives since. Both pro-Indian troops and separatist rebels apparently took part in the killing.
Another incident that added fuel to the fire was when Indian army troopstied a local man to their jeep to use as a human shield. The move was documented in a viral video and caused outrage across Kashmir.
Police said they had filed a case against the troops shown in the clip. The military was examining the video's authenticity, army spokesman Rajesh Kalia said, adding, "Action will be taken against those found guilty of misconduct."
In yet another sign of escalation, local police chiefs recommended their officers to stay out of their own homes in South Kashmir. Previously, anti-Indian militants have stormed houses of at least four police officers in the area.
dj/jm (AFP, Reuters, dpa)