Curfew imposed in Kashmir after Qur’an burning

July 22, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Some members of the Border Security Forces (BSF) are thought to have desecrated Islam’s holy book and beaten up an imam. When hundreds of people protested outside a BSF camp, agents opened fire, killing four and wounding 42.

Curfew imposed in Kashmir after Qur'an burningKashmir, July 19, 2013: A curfew has been imposed in the main cities of the State of Jammu and Kashmir after violence broke out yesterday in the district of Ramban following the burning of a copy of the Qur’an and the beating of an imam in Dadam. Four people died and 42 were injured in clashes with India’s Border Security Force (BSF).

The BSF is made up special units from the Indian Armed Forces, responsible for monitoring the country’s borders. Known for their violent behavior, BSF agents have often been involved in trafficking and smuggling.

According to some witnesses, members of the BSF desecrated a copy of the Qur’an and attacked an Islamic cleric. When the news spread, hundreds of people gathered near a BSF camp in Ramban. At some point, troops opened fire, injuring dozens of people and killing four.

After the clash, tensions rose further, so much so that the authorities of the Indian state decided to impose a curfew in many cities, including Srinagar, the state capital.

About a thousand Hindu pilgrims heading for the temple of Amarnath were stopped.

Today, some extremist groups have called for a strike throughout Jammu and Kashmir in protest against yesterday’s violence.

“It is highly unacceptable to shoot at unarmed protesters just because they were reportedly protesting [against the] manhandling of an Imam of their area,” said in a statement Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

India’s Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has also called the incident “regrettable” and ordered an inquiry.

In recent years, violence in Kashmir has subsided from a peak in the 90s, but the tensions related to the division of the area are still deeply felt, especially among radical Islamic groups.

– asianews

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