India reimposes restrictions as protests break out in Kashmir
SRINAGAR Indian authorities yesterday reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of Kashmir's biggest city, Srinagar, after violent overnight clashes between residents and police in which dozens were injured.
There has been a series of protests against New Delhi's Aug 5 revocation of the region's autonomy.
This followed an easing in curbs on movement on Saturday morning.
A magistrate speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity said at least 4,000 people were arrested and held under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.
"Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity," the magistrate said.
The state government has said it has not imposed a curfew over the past two weeks, but yesterday people were being turned back at multiple roadblocks set up in the city. Security forces at some roadblocks told residents there was a curfew.
Two senior government officials told Reuters that at least two dozen people were admitted to hospital with pellet injuries after violent clashes broke out in the old city on Saturday night.
One of the official sources said that people pelted security forces with stones in some two dozen places across Srinagar.
He said the intensity of the stone pelting protests has increased over the past few days.The heavy overnight clashes took place mostly in the Rainawari, Nowhetta and Gojwara areas of the old city where Indian troops fired tear smoke, chilli grenades and pellets to disperse protesters.
Chilli grenades contain very spicy chilli pepper, and produce a major eye and skin irritant, as well as a pungent smell, when they are unleashed.
A senior government official at Srinagar's main hospital said at least 17 people came there with pellet injuries. They said 12 were discharged while five with grievous injuries were admitted.
Telephone landlines were restored in parts of the city on Saturday after a 12-day blackout and the state government said most telephone exchanges in the region would start working yesterday. Internet and cell phones remain blocked in Kashmir. - REUTERS, AFP
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