Troops break police siege: Thousands of Indian soldiers mount a raid in Srinagar to rescue a chief officer besieged by his own men

THE Indian army was called out in the Himalayan mountain city of Srinagar yesterday to rescue a state police chief under siege by thousands of his own officers.

Armed Kashmiri officers, who are predominantly Muslim, had barricaded the Director General of Police, B S Bedi, inside police headquarters and were demanding the arrest of a senior official, Rajendra Kumar, a Hindu. The police accused Superintendent Kumar of failing to prevent the death of a Muslim constable last week in army custody.

Human rights activists claim more than 250 Kashmiri youths have died during interrogation by Indian security forces since civil unrest first erupted around three years ago in the picturesque valley ringed by peaks. Government officials claim, however, that the constable, Riaz Ahmed, was killed in the crossfire during a shoot- out between Kashmiri militants and the army.

Army and paramilitary forces on Tuesday evening took up firing positions with mortars and machine-guns on the rooftops of buildings overlooking the police compound. Shots were exchanged throughout Tuesday night but no injuries were reported. Then, shortly before dawn, more than 3,000 troops, backed by armoured vehicles, raided the Srinagar police headquarters and disarmed the rebel policemen. The police chief was freed unharmed, and some reports claimed the revolt's leaders had been arrested.

Earlier, the army had taken control of other local police stations around the Kashmir valley, where Muslim separatists have been fighting a virtual civil war against 300,000 Indian security forces.

Police officers, who were joined in their five-day protest strike over the constable's death by firemen and traffic wardens, on Tuesday marched through Srinagar towards the police headquarters shouting 'Long live Hindu-Muslim unity' and 'Withdraw the army'. Then they surrounded the police compound where Chief Bedi and his staff were.

Even though a showdown was averted between the local police and the army, government officials in Kashmir were reported by Srinagar journalists to be 'in a state of panic' over the event. Indian security forces, even before the siege, were often distrustful of the Kashmiri police brigades whom they suspected of sympathising with Muslim insurgents who want to free the region from Delhi's control.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'