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Anti-Indian protests reignite in Kashmir following shootout in Srinagar

Thousands participated in an anti-Indian protest in the city of Srinagar in Kashmir, following a joint funeral commemorating those who died during the shootout with the Indian security forces. 

During the protest most shops and businesses closed in solidarity with the protest and civilians marched the streets chanting “Go India, go back” and “Long live Pakistan”. Police officials reported incidents of protestors throwing stones at security forces. In response Indian authorities deployed paramilitary soldiers and heavily armed police to monitor the protest as well as imposing a curfew.

The shooting occurred in Fateh Kadal, near a 14th-century Muslim shrine named Khanqah-e-Moula, and resulted in the deaths of three militants and an Indian police officer. A senior police officer reported the incident as follows to Al Jazeera: 

"When police went inside, there was a heavy fire in which we lost one police. The two were militants and the third was their accomplice who was also the son of the house owner. He did not come out when the family came, so he was a part of them”.

The other two militants were part of Lashkar-e-Taiba, claimed the Indians.

During the incident security forces attacked at least 10 journalists who were also on the scene and burned down the house after the raid.

“The irony is that they beat us in the presence of a senior police officer,” Asif Qureshi a senior TV journalist said. “They pointed guns at us and threatened to fire at us. Later they resorted to aerial firing so close that some of the empty cartridges hit me.”

The Kashmir Journalists Corps reported: 

“This is not the first time when media persons have been at receiving end of security agencies. Every time media persons are assaulted, the authorities at the helm churn out theories and assure action,” 

“But the promises of probe and action have always remained a mirage.”

Clashes between government troops and residents occurred Tuesday during the last phase of local council elections that had a low turnout in Muslim-dominated areas of the region. Separatists and armed rebel groups had called for a boycott, viewing the polls as an illegitimate exercise under military occupation.

See more from Al Jazeera here and AP here

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