Clashes have erupted in the main city of Indian-controlled Kashmir after authorities blocked a pro-independence march to local U.N. office to mark the anniversary of a separatist leader's execution in New Delhi 31 years ago.

Police fired tear gas after scores of Jammu-Kashmir Liberation Front activists defied a curfew Wednesday and assembled in the main business district of Srinagar chanting slogans like "We want freedom" and "Return the mortal remains of Mohammed Maqbool Butt."

The demonstrators responded by throwing stones at the police and paramilitary soldiers. A police officer speaking on customary condition of anonymity said that at least eight activists were detained.

Wednesday marked the 1984 hanging of pro-independence leader Butt, who was convicted of killing an intelligence officer.