Violent clashes started this week after Indian government forces cordoned off a village in the Himalayan region.
CAPE TOWN, April 4 (ANA) – Anti-India protests have erupted in a village in Indian-administered Kashmir at the weekend, following the killing of three alleged rebel fighters in a gun battle with Indian troops in Pulwama district, according to the police and residents.
Inspector General Vijay Kumar said a gunfight erupted in Kakpora after soldiers and counter-insurgency police units in the area received intelligence about rebel presence in the Pulwama district in the early hours of Friday, according to Al Jazeera.
Col Rajesh Kalia, a spokesperson for the Indian military in Kashmir, said the fighting started after Indian government forces cordoned off a village in the Himalayan region’s southern Kulgam district based on information that militants were hiding there, according to Arab News.
Thousands of citizens joined the militants’ fight and quickly became involved in clashes as the two factions became violent.
Witnesses said Indian troops in Kashmir employed tactics including the use of explosives.
Demonstrators chanted pro-rebel slogans, demanding an end to Indian rule in the region.
According to ABC News, government forces fired shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing demonstrators.
At least four civilians were wounded during the clashes, including a woman who was shot in the leg.
The decades-long conflict has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, insurgents and government forces.
The rebellion has resulted in the deaths of nearly 70,000 people.
Kashmir militancy is referred to by Indian officials as “Pakistan-sponsored terrorism”.
The majority of Kashmiris support the insurgent demand that the region be unified, either under Pakistani rule or as a separate entity.
India and Pakistan decided last month to reaffirm their 2003 cease-fire agreement, which has kept guns silent along the de facto border dividing Kashmir.
However, recent clashes have shown the cease-fire agreement to be ineffective. Both India and Pakistan claim the entire divided region of Kashmir.
Since 1989, insurgents have been fighting Indian rule, and civilian street protests are frequent.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay
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