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Asia-Pacific

Thousands protest new deaths in Kashmir

media A Kashmiri Muslim woman confronts an Indian police officer during the protests Reuters

Thousands of protesters have swamped the streets of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, after the death of a young demonstrator earlier Tuesday.

Separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq led the march to call for an end to the “killing of innocent people”, while some of the crowd chanted “Blood for blood!” and “We want freedom!”.

The latest victim in a month of protest in the state was killed when security forces opened fire to disperse a demonstration sparked by the death of another man Monday. Local people say Monday’s victim drowned after being chased by security personnel after a crowd stormed a convoy belonging to senior state minister Nasir Aslam.

"The state government has completely failed on this account in controlling the situation," says correspondent Shujaat Bukhari in Srinagar. "There have been killings after killing and people's anger is increasing. I don't know where the failure is, but there is a lack of strategy and managing on the ground."

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Shujaat Bukhari, Srinagar 06/07/2010 - by Salil Sarkar Listen

Indian forces are targeting unarmed civilians. Bukhari says police say one more girl has died, too. He says the government seems to have lost control of its armed forces

"Everybody agrees the bullets are not in answer to the stone pelting," says Bukhari. "The state government is not able to control the paramilitary forces and there seems to be lack of coordination on that."

There have been furious protests and 12 civilian deaths since 11 June, when a 17-year-old student was killed by a police teargas shell.

Police have imposed a curfew in most parts of Srinagar but failed to stop the protests. Schools and colleges were closed on Tuesday in response to calls to protest against Delhi rule.

The state’s Chief Minister Omar Abdullah promised to improve human rights came to power last year.

Separatists have been waging an intense and sometimes violent campaign against Indian control of the state for the last 20 years.

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