MUZAFFARABAD–Hundreds of people in Azad Kashmir burnt India´s flag and an effigy of its prime minister Sunday in protest at a crackdown on separatists in occupied Kashmir.
Many children also took part, displaying placards reading: “Go India Go back (from Kashmir)” and “Release Kashmiri leaders”.
Police in the Indian sector shot dead a 16-year-old boy on Saturday during a demonstration on the outskirts of its main city Srinagar, as a separatist strike shut down the Himalayan region on a second day of violent clashes.
Indian Kashmir has been rocked by violent protests for the past week after the brother of a top rebel leader was killed by the army near the town of Tral in the south of the Kashmir valley.
Shops, businesses and schools remained shut on Saturday across several towns in the state in response to a strike led by top leader Syed Ali Geelani against what he called “state terrorism” and “poisonous propaganda” by Indian media.
Authorities have put all top separatist leaders under house arrest to prevent them from leading protests.
On Friday 30 people, mainly police officers, were injured as pro-Pakistan demonstrators in Srinagar set fire to an Indian flag and hurled rocks at them during a protest at the arrest of another separatist leader.
Masarat Alam Bhat was detained early Friday, two days after he chanted pro-Pakistan slogans at a peaceful separatist rally.
Bhat rose to prominence in 2010 when he organised a series of mass protests before being detained without charge for four years under controversial public safety legislation.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep across Kashmir, a picturesque Himalayan region.
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— The Daily Mail - People's Daily