Violence escalates after Kashmir by-election day

Published 10.04.2017 21:17
Updated 10.04.2017 21:19

Six civilians were killed and at least 50 were wounded Sunday in disputed Jammu and Kashmir when Indian forces opened fire on massive pro-independence protests. The protests were against the Indian parliamentary elections for the Srinagar constituency, which saw a meager voter turnout of only 6.5 percent, down sharply from 25.55 percent in 2014.

The Srinagar constituency went to the polls again after Srinagar representative Tariq Hamid Karra, elected in 2014, resigned his seat in protest of the killing of over 90 civilians by Indian forces last summer. The killings started soon after the polls opened when Indian forces fired at hundreds of young people who took to the streets across the Budgam district in central Kashmir shouting pro-independence slogans and throwing stones at the Indian forces.

Police spokesperson Manoj Pandita confirmed to Anadolu Agency that six people had been killed during the day, and sources in the police department, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said two of the wounded are in critical condition.

Sunday's election was held amid an information blockade after the Indian government completely shut down Internet services in the region Saturday night.

The situation in disputed Jammu and Kashmir under Indian control remains tense as news of the killings spread through TV channels and word of mouth. The pro-independence resistance leadership called for a complete shutdown for two days against the killings.

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