India

Protests in India-administered Kashmir leave 12 injured

A teargas shell explodes in front of Kashmiris protesting outside Eidgah, a prayer ground, in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Image copyright AP
Image caption At least 12 people were injured in the violence

Indian forces have fired tear gas and used batons to disperse hundreds of protesters in India-controlled Kashmir.

At least 12 people were injured after protests in the capital Srinagar and other parts of the state turned violent after Eid prayers.

Protesters are angered by the arrest of four religious and separatist leaders, and a 40-hour ban on internet services.

That ban came after some local Muslim leaders urged people to upload pictures of cows being slaughtered for Eid.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC's Riyaz Masroor that clashes broke out after anti-India protesters marched with posters of armed militants.

Riot police charged at the protesters, firing plastic bullets and tear gas.

Tensions have been high after a court upheld a law prohibiting the slaughter of cows. Cows are a sacred animal in Hinduism, India's main religion - but India-administered Kashmir is mostly Muslim.

Several religious leaders and separatist groups in the state put out a call asking people to slaughter cows instead of the traditional sheep and goats - although some leaders also urged people not to hurt religious sentiments.

The authorities then blocked access to the internet so that people would not be able to upload images of cow slaughter.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Protestors held up Pakistani flags and shouted pro-independence slogans

The 1932 law made the slaughter of cows punishable by up to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine. Indian authorities have not enforced the law for about seven decades.

Police have also made several arrests in recent days, including that of Mirwais Omar Farooq who was scheduled to lead Eid prayers in Srinagar.

High profile separatist leaders Syed Ali Gilani and Yasin Malik were also arrested, fuelling further anger.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse the crowds

Related Topics