Baby dies amid clashes in Indian Kashmir

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The Independent Online

An 11-day-old baby died and a dozen people were injured during protests in restive Indian Kashmir, police said today.

The mother dropped her baby during a melee involving demonstrators and it later died in a hospital Monday near Baramullah, 35 miles (55 kilometers) north of Srinagar, the main city in the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir, police official A.Q. Manhas said.

Police registered a murder case and were investigating the death, Manhas said.

Angry protests have roiled the troubled Himalayan region for last three days over the recent arrest of more than 100 demonstrators.

At least 12 people, including two television cameramen and one photographer, were injured as nearly 500 protesters clashed with police in Srinagar on Monday, according to police. There were no reports of violence Tuesday.

Protesters accused Indian security forces of using excessive force to quell recent anti-India demonstrations, and demanded the release of more than 100 people arrested in the past two weeks.

Kashmir, which is predominantly Muslim, is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the Himalayan region, where rebel groups have fought for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989.

More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the uprising and subsequent Indian crackdown.