Violence rages in Kashmir
Security forces shot dead five people and wounded another 20 during protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday, a day after nine people were killed, according to witnesses and security sources.
Four people were killed in Aripanthan village after residents took to the streets to protest what they said were aggressive tactics by members of the security forces during an overnight patrol designed to enforce a curfew.
One resident said one protester was killed immediately after members of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) opened fire and another three died of their injuries.
A further 12 protesters were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. The identities of the four who died were not immediately known but all were young men.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a security official confirmed to AFP "a patrol party fired on the protesters. Four have died".
Another protester was shot dead in Larkipora village in south Kashmir after residents clashed with paramilitary troopers, according to witnesses.
A senior police officer in the region and witnesses told AFP that forces fired live rounds during the protests that also left eight people injured.
The deaths come a day after a total of nine people were killed in a series of clashes and gun battles across the region, including a commander of the CRPF which is an Indian paramilitary police unit.
Authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India's only Muslim majority state, since July 9 during an upsurge in violence sparked by the killing of a top militant commander called Burhan Wani in a gunfight with security forces.
More than 60 civilians, mostly young men, have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands more injured in the region's worst violence since 2010.
In another development, Amnesty yesterday denied its staff made anti-nationalist comments at one of its events on disputed Indian Kashmir after the rights group was slapped with sedition charges.
Police in the southern Indian city of Bangalore filed the initial charges against Amnesty on Monday following complaints that event participants called for independence of the volatile Kashmir region.
Sedition charges, which carry a maximum penalty of life in prison, have been used previously against supporters of independence for Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both.
"No Amnesty International India employee shouted any slogans at any point," Amnesty International India said in a statement on Saturday's event in Bangalore.
"The focus of the event was squarely on allegations of human rights violations and the denial of justice in Jammu and Kashmir."
Rights campaigners have long accused New Delhi of using the British-era sedition law to clamp down on dissent, although convictions are rare.
The charges come as foreign charities are under intense pressure in India, with the government saying last year it has cancelled the overseas funding licences of around 9,000 non-governmental organisations in a major crackdown.
The complaints were lodged with police by a Hindu nationalist student organisation, some 200 of whose members staged protests outside Amnesty's offices in Bangalore.