Srinagar Under Siege, Senior Leaders Detained Police, Protesters Clashes ContinueFebruary 6, 2010
Srinagar—Indian authorities deployed thousands of police and detained top leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir’s capital Srinagar on Thursday to halt protests over the death of a Muslim boy.
The 14-year-old child was struck by a teargas shell fired by police on Sunday during a demonstration and his death sparked angry protests against New Delhi’s rule over the region.
About 100 protesters and policemen have been injured in clashes. Security forces on Thursday enforced restrictions in most parts of Srinagar, to prevent further rallies.
The government has banned the assembly of more than four people in Srinagar “This has been done to maintain law and order,” police officer Pervez Ahmed said. Residents said they were ordered to stay in their homes, though there was no formal curfew.
Senior Kashmiri leaders were either detained in police stations or confined to their homes. “I have been placed under house arrest,” leading separatist Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told AFP over telephone.
Farooq said if New Delhi continued to “kill people in Kashmir, then violent rebellion would return to the state.” Shops, businesses and government offices in Srinagar were closed and public buses stayed off the roads for a fourth day Thursday.
Kashmiri separatists have held regular rallies, which often turn violent, since 2008. More than 60 protesters have died in the protests since then, most of them during firing by the police.—Agencies