Kashmir: Clashes and protests over scholar’s death


By Xinhua | Srinagar

Life across Muslim majority areas of Indian-controlled Kashmir remained affected for the second straight day on Tuesday due to protests and shutdown over the death of a Kashmiri student in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

Mudasir Ahmed Malla, pursuing PhD at the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) in Hyderabad, was found hanging from the ceiling in his hostel room Saturday evening.

Clashes broke out between agitating youth and contingents of police and India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in a few localities of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian- controlled Kashmir.

Police fired tear smoke shells and resorted to baton charging to chase the protesters.

“Youth in Habakadal locality tried to throw stones at contingents of police and CRPF but they were chased away by policemen,” said a police officer. “Police is using maximum restraint in dealing with the agitators.”

Malla’s death triggered protests in parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir including his home district Pulwama, 35 kilometers south of Srinagar city.

Indian-controlled Kashmir’s chief minister said Malla committed suicide due to depression. However, separatists and family members ruled out suicide and alleged he was killed.

A joint separatist alliance has called for a march to Malla’s village to protest his “mysterious” death and express solidarity with the bereaved family.

Shops remained closed in the region including Srinagar in the wake of the separatist march call. Public transport also remained off the roads. Authorities have deployed contingents of police and CRPF at sensitive towns to foil protests. Reports said restrictions have been imposed in Malla’s village in Pulwama.

Last month life across the region remained affected due to curfew and shutdown for days together, following the hanging of 2001 parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru at New Delhi’s Tihar jail. Guru was a Kashmiri resident.

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