Kashmir death toll rises as India faces fresh protests

Women attend the funeral of Mohammad Iqbal, a Kashmiri youth, in Srinagar this week. Kashmiri separatist leaders have appealed for calm in the biggest anti-India protests in two years, which have killed dozens of people. Photograph: Fayaz Kabli/Reuters

RAHUL BEDI in New Delhi, The Irish Times, August 7, 2010

THE DEATH toll from the recent round of recurring clashes between demonstrators and the security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir province is now close to 50.

Most of the dead were shot by the security forces for defying a curfew.

Since the middle of June, the Kashmir valley has been rocked by violent agitation. Protesters, angry over decades of repressive Indian rule over their disputed Muslim-majority Himalayan province, have hurled rocks and set government buildings and vehicles alight.

The demonstrators, mostly young men, have been joined by thousands of women, some carrying sticks and stones and chanting: “We want freedom” and “Blood for blood”.

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