SRINAGAR: Security forces shot dead four people and wounded another 12 during a protest at a village in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Tuesday, according to witnesses and a security source.
The shooting occurred when residents of Raipanthan village took to the streets to protest what they said were aggressive tactics by members of the security forces during an overnight patrol designed to enforce a curfew.
One resident said one protester was killed immediately after members of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) opened fire and another three died of their injuries.
A further 12 protesters were taken taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The identities of the four who died were not immediately known but all were young men.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a security official confirmed to AFP “a patrol party fired on the protesters. Four have died”.
The deaths come a day after a total of nine people were killed in a series of clashes and gun battles across the region, including a commander of the CRPF which is an Indian paramilitary police unit.
Authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, since July 9 during an upsurge in violence sparked by the killing of a top militant commander called Burhan Wani in a gunfight with security forces.
More than 60 civilians, mostly young men, have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands more injured in the region’s worst violence since 2010.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since the end of British colonial rule in 1947 but both claim the territory in full.
It is the epicentre of a separatist insurgency, with several rebel groups fighting Indian troops and police as they seek either independence or a merger with Pakistan.