Troops kill 29 in Kashmir: Indian forces shoot protesters during peaceful procession towards Muslim holy shrine

INDIA'S Himalayan state of Kashmir slipped further towards rebellion yesterday when security forces fired into peaceful processions of more than 10,000 Kashmiris, killing at least 29 people, police and hospital sources said. More than 200 others were injured, including a senior political leader, Abbas Ansari.

Throughout Srinagar, the state capital, where Indian security forces also killed seven protesters, thousands of Kashmiris yesterday defied a curfew and tried marching to a holy Muslim shrine where armed separatists and more than 150 worshippers have endured an eight-day siege by Indian troops.

The Kashmiri protesters, led by Muslim clergymen and sometimes by women, failed to reach the besieged Hazarat Bal mosque, beside a lake seven miles outside Srinagar, that is surrounded by more than 14,000 heavily armed soldiers.

Twenty-two people were killed when paramilitary Border Security Force troops opened fire to break up a 30,000-strong demonstration in the town of Bejibhera, 25 miles south of Srinagar. The super intendent of police, Mohammed Amin, confirmed 15 deaths, but doctors at Bijbihar's Bejibhera's main hospital said that 22 people had died and more than 100 others were injured, including 20 who were in a serious condition.

Earlier in Srinagar, S Padmab han, the army corps commander in Srinagar, said: 'I have told my troops not to shoot, even if they are being shot at. Do you know how hard an order that is to give?'

But the same orders were not imposed on the ill-disciplined Indian paramilitary forces, whose use of torture and execution has embittered a majority of Kashmiri Muslims against Indian rule. I saw them fire tear-gas shells at point-blank range down a dirty alley where women and children stood shouting, 'freedom, freedom'. And in at least two neighbourhoods of Srinagar, witnesses saw the paramilitary forces shoot in the crowds of demonstrators trying to reach the Hazarat Bal shrine.

The Indian authorities insist that it is only a small group of Muslim militants, armed and paid by the enemy neighbour Pakistan, who are stirring up the separatist unrest in Kashmir. But yesterday, despite a dawn to dusk curfew, tens of thousands of Kashmiris left their homes in this ancient city of canals and bridges and flocked towards the shrine. Their aim was to convince the army to lift its blockade and let the Kashmiri militants trapped inside walk free.

The Kashmiri protesters failed in their objective. But the Indian authorities showed that their domination of Kashmir after three years of unrest, can only be maintained by extreme force. The biggest procession was led by Mr Ansari, a prominent Kashmiri who advocates self- rule for the state. It started in the heart of Srinagar. Thousands swarmed from their homes, where they have been confined for several days under military curfew, and joined him.

As the marchers grew in number, they were able to flood past the military barricades, through clouds of tear-gas, until they reached the Kanwari Chowk market square. It was there that the paramilitary forces fired on them. The first shots came from an automatic rifle mounted on an assault vehicle, spraying into the crowd. Then paramilitary forces opened a volley of gunfire. Mr Ansari, an eldery man, was critically injured, police said.

Throughout the Kashmir valley, violence flared. Police said more than 200 people were injured in the shooting and tear-gassing by security forces. Even though yesterday was Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, many mosques remained locked and the congregations instead marched in solidarity with those trapped inside the Hazarat Bal shrine.

(Photograph omitted)

News
people Emma Watson addresses celebrity nude photo leak
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
News
Boris Johnson may be manoeuvring to succeed David Cameron
i100
News
His band Survivor was due to resume touring this month
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
News
In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
science
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
News
i100
Sport
Tom Cleverley
footballLoan move comes 17 hours after close of transfer window
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Extras
indybest 9 best steam generator irons
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

Project Officer (HMP Brixton Mentoring Project)

£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...

Construction Solicitor / Partner

Highly Competitive Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - Senior Construction Solici...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

DT teachers required for supply roles in Cambridge

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: DT teachers required ...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering