India

Kashmir protests death toll rises to four

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard in front of closed market during a shutdown in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 12 April 2016. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Handwara where the incident happened.

The death toll in clashes between security forces and protesters in Indian-administered Kashmir has risen to four, officials say.

Two men and a woman were killed in firing in Handwara on Tuesday.

A teenage boy, who was hit by a tear gas shell in nearby Drugmula, died in hospital on Wednesday.

The victims were protesting against the alleged molestation of a teenage girl by a soldier in Handwara. A curfew has been imposed in Handwara and Srinagar.

The army and police have ordered investigations into the deaths.

The BBC Urdu's Riyaz Masroor in Srinagar says hundreds of protesters had thronged the town square in Handwara following allegations that a soldier had attempted to molest a schoolgirl.

"When the protesters marched toward the central market and tried to storm a bunker, the soldiers indiscriminately fired at the procession," NA Sofi, an eyewitness, said.

However, our correspondent says it is not clear where the bullets came from, with another eyewitness saying that the first round of firing came from the police.

Police said the firing injured seven men who were taken to a local hospital where two of them later died of bullet injuries.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Two men and a woman were killed and five others injured while participating in a protest

A 70-year-old woman who was also injured died in Srinagar on Tuesday night, reports said.

The boy was hit by a tear gas shell during a separate demonstration in Drugmula on Wednesday.

Authorities say the situation in Handwara is tense and a large number of security forces have been deployed to maintain order in the town.

Jammu and Kashmir is India's only Muslim-majority state and has been the scene of a violent insurgency against Indian rule since 1989.

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