Kashmir, clashes between separatists and police: 23 dead and 250 injured
The violence was unleashed following the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular seperatist militant. Authorities impose a curfew, shut schools, offices, highways. Internet sut down. Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan since 1947. A latent conflict has caused tens of thousands of deaths.
Srinagar (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 23 people died and 250 were injured in three days of clashes in Indian Kashmir sparked by the killing of Burhan Wani, a famous militant of Hizbul Mujahideen. The group has been fighting for the independence of the state from the Indian Federation. The young man, 21, was among the most famous for his videos and photos posted on social networks. Thousands of his supporters defied the curfew imposed by the authorities to attend the funeral of the separatist group's "pin-up boy".
The ongoing confrontation is the worst incident of violence since 2010. The fighting was sparked July 8, after the killing of Wani. He, along with two other militants, was the victim of an operation by Indian police in the Kokernag in Anantnag district.
The son of a teacher, Wani had joined the separatists at age 15 and was considered a hero by his generation, who looked to him as a reference point thanks to his increasingly popular presence on social networks.
As soon as news of his death spread, groups of supporters took to the streets and began throwing stones at the police, who had since been deployed to maintain order. Since then, authorities have imposed a curfew and blocked access to internet sites in large areas of the southern part of Kashmir; state access roads have been closed; shops, schools, offices and petrol pumps have also been locked down to prevent damage and devastation.
Three days on, tensions remain high and the local government will meet today to discuss the measures to be implemented. Kashmir is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan since the separation of 1947. Repeated attempts to establish independence and a latent conflict have caused tens of thousands of deaths, of which the majority are civilians.