Indian police used tear gas and pellets to fight back at least 10,000 people protesting, India’s withdrawal of special rights for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state, in its main city of Srinagar on Friday, according to local sources.
The protests erupted afternoon prayers on Friday, with thousands of people marching towards the centre of Srinagar ignoring a curfew imposed as part of an unprecedented security lockdown in the Indian occupies Kashmir,
Some demonstrators were carrying black flags and placards saying “We want freedom” and “Abrogation of Article 370 is not acceptable.”
The crowd was pushed back by police at Aiwa bridge, where a witness said tear gas and pellets were used against them. “Some women and children even jumped into the water,” a witness said at Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, where pellet victims were admitted.
12 people had been admitted to two hospitals in the city after receiving pellet injuries at Soura, taking the total injured in the protests this week to at least 30.
Residents of Kashmir fear the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party scrapped the region’s special status to shift its demographics, partly by allowing outsiders to own property there. Article 370 had barred Indians from outside the territory from permanently settling and buying land there.