SRINAGAR, India – SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Protesters defied a round-the-clock curfew in the Indian portion of Kashmir on Thursday and attacked government forces with rocks, wounding six of them, police said.
On the outskirts of the main city of Srinagar, teenagers stoned a vehicle of paramilitary soldiers that overturned, injuring five soldiers. In the town of Baramulla, one police officer was wounded as government forces fired tear gas and swung batons to disperse scores of rock-throwing protesters, a police officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.
Violent civil unrest against New Delhi's rule in Kashmir has roiled the disputed Himalayan region for the past three months and killed at least 94 people, including 22 who died from police fire this week. The unrest prompted authorities to declare the curfew, under which violators can be shot.
There is little sign of the unrest abating. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference, an umbrella organization of separatist political and religious groups, is calling for people to march on Indian military camps on Sept. 21, which could escalate the protests.
An Islamist insurgency seeking the region's independence or merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan that broke out in 1989 has waned in recent years, but the continuing Indian military presence is widely resented by Kashmiris. Wide scale street protests have broken out for three consecutive summers.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met with top Indian politicians in New Delhi and decided to send a cross-party delegation to assess the situation in Indian-held Kashmir, but separatist leaders dismissed it as a public relations ploy and Kashmiri analysts were skeptical it would achieve much.
Archrivals India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir, which is divided between them, since they won independence from Britain in 1947.