Indian security forces, protesters clash after Eid prayers in Kashmir

June 26, 2017 10:30 pm

Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian government forces after Eid al-Fitr prayers in downtown Srinagar on June 26, 2017.

Indian security forces have used tear gas and pellet guns to disperse thousands of pro-independence demonstrators following Eid al-Fitr prayers in .
Violence erupted in the main city of Srinagar on Monday after protesters, who had gathered to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan by saying the Eid prayers, poured out of the city’s mosques and started pelting stones at Indian government forces.
The biggest gatherings were in Hazratbal shrine with more than 50,000 people and the other at the Eidgah mosque with over 40,000 prayers. Many of the enraged protesters waved Pakistani flags.

Kashmiri protestors clash with Indian government forces after Eid al-Fitr prayers in downtown Srinagar on June 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Similar street fighting also broke out in Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam and Pulwama districts on the outskirts of Srinagar.
Indian media reported that around 20 civilians and five policemen had sustained injuries during the Monday clashes.
Fifty-one people lost their lives during daily clashes in Ramadan in the disputed Himalayan territory, according to the Kashmir Coalition of Civil .

A masked demonstrator pulls a burning tire during a protest after Eid al-Fitr prayers in Srinagar on June 26, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Tensions are high in the Indian-administrated Kashmir region, where the Muslim-majority population stages regular protests against Indian rule and demands autonomy from New Delhi.
regularly accuses Pakistan of arming and training militants and allowing them across the restive frontier in an attempt to launch attacks on Indian forces. Pakistan strongly denies the allegations.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both since the two partitioned and gained independence from Britain in 1947. The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed territory. Despite a ceasefire agreement that was reached in November 2003, sporadic skirmishes continue in Kashmir.
New Delhi has deployed some 500,000 soldiers to the disputed region to further boost the security of the borderline and enforce a crackdown on pro-independence demonstrations in its share of Kashmir, where anti-India sentiments are high.
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