At least 17 people have been injured when Indian forces fired bullets and shotgun pellets to break up a massive protest in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.
Fierce clashes broke out between Indian troops and hundreds of stone-pelting protesters in Shopian district in southern Kashmir on Tuesday afternoon.
The angry demonstrators were protesting against recent civilian killings at the hands of Indian forces across the Muslim-majority region.
Local residents and witnesses said the clashes erupted after New Delhi’s forces fired tear gas indiscriminately to disperse the crowd. They said the agitated protesters responded with rocks.
Local police sources confirmed that Indian troops fired live ammunition and shotgun pellets.
Bashir Ahmed Chak, a Kashmiri resident whose young son was among the injured, said it was a “premeditated attack” by the troops.
Separately, a series of clashes was also reported in at least two places in the northern Bandipore district, where a woman was injured.
Reports of violence were also received from some districts of Srinagar, the region’s main city.
The fresh wave of violence comes a day after pro-Indian Kashmiri politicians urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take serious steps to halt weeks-long deadly violence in the disputed region.
A delegation of politicians, led by former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, Omar Abdullah, on Monday met Modi in the Indian capital New Delhi, seeking an immediate ban on pellet guns and calling for his intervention in ending the unrest in Kashmir.
Modi’s office in a recent statement stressed the need for dialogue to end the unrest.
Violence erupted in Indian-controlled Kashmir on July 8, when people protested against the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular pro-independence fighter, by Indian forces.
At least 65 people have so far been killed during clashes between protesters and Indian forces.
Indian forces have imposed a curfew across large parts of Kashmir since July.
There are an estimated 500,000 Indian troops currently deployed in the restive territory.
Since India and Pakistan won independence from British rule in 1947, they have been claiming Kashmir in full but have only partial control over it. Thousands of people have been killed in the unrest in Kashmir since early 1990s.
By Press TV