Government forces have arrested more than a thousand protesters in Indian-controlled Kashmir in an attempt to stem deadly anti-India demonstrations in the Himalayan region, a top policeman said Monday.
Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said the arrests were made over the past two weeks in a bid to end a month of protests in which more than 55 civilians and two policemen have been killed and thousands injured.
Kashmir has been under a security lockdown and curfew since the killing of a popular rebel commander on July 8 sparked some of the largest protests against Indian rule in recent years.
Tens of thousands of people have defied the curfew and participated in street protests, often leading to clashes between rock-throwing residents and government forces firing live ammunition, shotgun pellets and tear gas.
On Monday, tens of thousands of troops patrolled streets ringed with barbed wire and enforced a curfew in most parts of Kashmir. Shops and schools were closed because of the security crackdown and a separatist-sponsored protest strike.
However, protests demanding the end of Indian rule over the region continued in several places, with reports of clashes between protesters and government forces in at least five locations. Seven civilians were reported injured.
Separatist politicians, who challenge India’s sovereignty over Kashmir, have called on residents to resist the crackdown and stage protests when troops raid neighborhoods to arrest young people. (AP)