Indian Army raids Kashmir village to quell protest, leaves one dead

Indian Army raids Kashmir village to quell protest, leaves one dead

Army spokesman Colonel NN Joshi confirmed the raid on the village 25 kilometres (16 miles) south-east of the main city of Srinagar, saying 'the incident is being investigated'. (Getty)

Jammu and Kashmir | Aug 19, 2016, 09.59 AM (IST)

Soldiers raided a village in Kashmir valley in India overnight in an attempt to quash ongoing protests, leaving one civilian dead and dozens injured, police and witnesses said Thursday.

Villagers said soldiers from a nearby Indian army camp ransacked homes in Khrew village and beat residents with bamboo sticks, leading to the death of a teacher.

"They beat up men, women, and children and took away many young men with them. We discovered the battered body of Shabir Mangoo on a village street in the morning," said one villager who asked not to be named, fearing reprisals.

Army spokesman Colonel NN Joshi confirmed the raid on the village 25 kilometres (16 miles) south-east of the main city of Srinagar, saying "the incident is being investigated".

Kashmir has been in the grip of almost daily anti-India protests and rolling curfews sparked by the killing on July 8 of a popular rebel leader, Burhan Wani, in a gunfight with government forces.

"One person was also found dead after the raid," a police officer told AFP on condition of anonymity, adding that around 28 villagers were taken away by the soldiers.

The army raid, the third in recent days, comes after five weeks of unrest that have left more than 60 people dead.

India has clamped down hard on protests, with the army accused of using brutal tactics to suppress demonstrators.

"First, the electricity went off and soldiers soon started attacking our home, beating up all of us including my 10-year-old niece," villager Ghulam Hassan told AFP from his hospital bed in Srinagar.

Dr Nazir Chaudhary, medical superintendent at the main SMHS hospital in Srinagar told AFP, 24 injured villagers had been admitted for treatment.

A daytime curfew in place across the territory was extended to night-time Wednesday, with police forcing shops to close and soldiers setting up additional roadblocks and checkpoints to restrict residents' movement.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence from British rule in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in full.

Several rebel groups, including Wani's Hizbul Mujahideen, have fought for decades 500,000 Indian troops deployed in the territory, demanding independence for the region or its merger with Pakistan.

(AFP)
 
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