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Iran Press TV

Indian troops clash with students in Kashmir

Iran Press TV

Wed May 17, 2017 5:48PM

Hundreds of stone-throwing student protesters have clashed with New Delhi government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir as tensions continue to rock the disputed Himalayan region.

Media reports said that Indian paramilitary troops used tear gas and batons to try to disperse students of a college in old part of the main city of Srinagar on Wednesday.

The violent clashes erupted after angry students boycotted their classes and poured out into streets in downtown city around noon.

They chanted slogans against Indian rule over the Muslim-majority region and demanded release of their fellows arrested during earlier protests.

The students retaliated by hurling stones and breaching the barricades set up by paramilitary soldiers in the area.

Witnesses said Indian troops chased students, including a large number of girls, with batons.

Separately, a large group of students also staged a massive march in Bandipora district of north Kashmir.

Tensions between Kashmiri students and government forces have intensified since April 15, when Indian forces raided a college in Pulwama, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Srinagar, to scare anti-India activists.

Hundreds of students were wounded in disturbances. The unrest had prompted authorities to temporarily shut down schools and universities.

In the latest surge of violence in Kashmir, several people were killed on April 9, when Indian paramilitary forces clashed with protesters during a by-election in Srinagar.

Pro-independence factions in Kashmir had called for a boycott of the vote, resulting in heightened security and a low voter turnout when the polling began.

The Muslim-majority region has witnessed an increase in mass protests and violent attacks since early July 2016, when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.

Nearly 100 people have lost their lives and more than 12,000 wounded in the ensuing crackdown.

In recent months, the use of pellet guns by Indian forces in Kashmir has drawn widespread criticism as the weapons have caused permanent disabilities among victims.

The government crackdown has failed to halt the protests against the Indian rule in Kashmir.

The region 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.

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