Thousands defy curfew in Indian Kashmir

AP News
Posted: Mar 15, 2014 4:31 AM

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Thousands of mourners in the troubled Indian portion of Kashmir defied a curfew Saturday and buried a Kashmiri teenage boy who was shot dead by government forces, police and witnesses said.

Armed police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled the area after imposing an indefinite curfew to prevent violence, but did not stop the funeral procession for Farhat Ahmed Dar, 18.

The mourners chanted slogans "Down with India!" and "We want freedom" in Naidkhai, a village nearly 30 kilometers (20 miles) north of Srinagar, the main city of the Indian portion of Kashmir.

Police officer Abdul Ghani Mir said Dar was killed and two others wounded when government forces fired at anti-India protesters who threatened to attack their armored vehicle in Naidkhai on Friday.

A strike hit most parts of the Indian portion of Kashmir on Saturday with shops and businesses closed to protest the latest killing.

Shailendra Kumar, a top state official, said an inquiry has been ordered.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region claimed by both India and Pakistan. The two neighboring countries have fought two wars over the control of Kashmir since they won independence from Britain in 1947.

Since 1989, rebel groups have been fighting against Indian rule. About 68,000 people have been killed in the conflict.

The rebels have largely been suppressed by Indian troops in recent years, and resistance against Indian rule is now principally expressed through street protests.