SRINAGAR: Two people died and at least 25 others were injured Saturday as government forces fired tear gas and clashed with protesters demanding freedom from Indian control in held Kashmir.
A police officer said a young man was killed when police and paramilitary soldiers tried to stop protesters from marching to a village in Shopian district.
In another incident, a 25-year-old man died from pellet injuries in Anantnag district following clashes between police and protesters.
A prolonged curfew, communication blackouts and a tightening crackdown have failed to stop some of the largest protests in Kashmir against Indian rule in recent years, triggered by a rebel commander’s killing on July 8.
Since then, tens of thousands of people have defied security restrictions, staged protests and clashed with government forces on a daily basis to seek an end to Indian rule.
At least 70 civilians have been killed and thousands injured, mostly by government forces firing bullets and shotguns at stone-throwing protesters. Two policemen have been killed and hundreds of government forces have been injured in the clashes.
Several militant groups have for decades fought Indian soldiers — currently numbering around 500,000 — deployed in the disputed region. Most Kashmiris want an end to Indian rule and favour independence or a merger with Pakistan.