A curfew in Kashmir is not being respected by many protesters, who are fighting for the region to be separated from India. Kashmir is an area located in South Asia that is controlled by three nations.
Kashmir includes India’s division of Jammu and Kashmir, the Pakistani-administered territories of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Chinese-controlled areas of Aksai Chin and the Trans-Karakoram Tract.
Since July, a series of protests began in the Indian-controlled Kashmir where a vast majority of the 12 million residents have been requesting their independence from India.
The mini-war between police and separatists started on July 8 after a famous rebel commander was killed. Since the unrest, at least 56 people including two police officers have died, and more than 1,400 protesters have been arrested.
To stop separatist leaders from accomplishing their goal and prevent other people from getting injured or killed, the government has imposed a curfew. Thus far, the curfew has been a complete failure.
According to local media, the separatist camp led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Mohammad Yasin Malik has been able to hold several protests across the region where violence erupted. Local media is reporting:
“At two places, police and paramilitary soldiers fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to stop rock-throwing protesters.”
Almost a dozen people, including six law-enforcement officers, have been injured over the weekend. The leaders are expecting to hold a “referendum” March at Lal Chowk on Sunday. One leader said:
“We challenge India’s sovereignty over Kashmir, urged Kashmiris to march to a historic square over the weekend to demand a referendum to decide the future of the region.”
A police official, who did not wish to reveal their identity, said:
“Curfew remained in force in entire Srinagar district and Anantnag town today to thwart the separatists’ plan to stage a two-day sit-in in the city centre even as the death toll in the ongoing unrest climbed to 56 in the Valley with the death of a youth injured in firing.”
He added that the curfew also remained in force in Anantnag. For the past 37 days, all shops, businesses, and schools have been closed, and authorities blocked most cell phone services and the Internet in the region.