Security personnel stand guard at a roadblock in Jammu on Wednesday. Rakesh Bakshi/ AFP
A protester died after being chased by police during a curfew in Kashmir’s main city, left in turmoil by an Indian government move to tighten control over the restive region, a police official said on Wednesday.
The death was confirmed by police after the government passed a presidential decree on Monday stripping the Muslim majority state of its longstanding semi-autonomous privileges.
Despite a paralysing curfew, imposed to head off unrest, sporadic protests have been reported by residents in the main city Srinagar.
A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that in one incident a youth being chased by police “jumped into the Jhelum river and died.”
The incident happened in Srinagar’s old town which has become a hotbed of anti-India protests during the three decade-long insurgency in Kashmir that has left tens of thousands dead.
A source told AFP that at least six people have been admitted to hospital in Srinagar with gunshot wounds and other injuries from protests.
Indian police insist that Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan, has been mainly peaceful since the curfew was imposed at midnight Sunday.
At least 12 locals and six troops were injured on Saturday evening, officials told Reuters, as the worshippers on the traditional mourning procession of Muharram clashed with troops trying to stop it.
Since removing several constitutional provisions in August that gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir semi-autonomy, Indian authorities have flooded the Kashmir Valley, the heart of a decades-old armed insurgency, with thousands of additional troops.
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said the blast was caused by a "militant attack" and occurred near the office of a civil administrator in southern Anantnag town.
The Narendra Modi administration is trying in Jammu and Kashmir a form of restricted democracy, quite distinct from what India’s Constitution provides for. The democratic process in J and K was already at standstill when the Centre scrapped Article 370
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