India

Kashmir MP quits India parliament to protest "brutal" policy

Tariq Hameed Karra, a senior Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader and Member of Indian Parliament, addresses a press conference in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 15 September 2016. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Tariq Hameed Karra quit his party and resigned from parliament

An MP from the ruling party in Indian-administered Kashmir has resigned to protest against the way authorities' have handled weeks of political unrest.

Tariq Hameed Karra described government policy as "brutal" and condemned his People's Democratic Party for its state-level alliance with the BJP.

He quit his party and resigned from parliament.

More than 80 people have been killed since wide-scale riots erupted in early July.

The mass closure of mosques in Kashmir hampered the festival of Eid al-Adha this week.

"For the first time in history, the people of Kashmir were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. Certain shrines and even the Grand Mosque were locked,'' Mr Karra told reporters on Thursday.

"Kashmiri blood is being spilled on the walls, lanes and drains of the valley," he added.

The demonstrations were sparked by the killing of a popular militant leader, Burhan Wani, 22, in a gunfight with the army.

Disputed Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan and has been a flashpoint for more than 60 years, causing two wars between the neighbours.

Within the disputed Muslim-majority territory, some militant groups have taken up arms to fight for independence from Indian rule or a merger with Pakistan.

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