India imposes Kashmir curfew to prevent planned separatist protest

NEW DELHI, July 29 (UPI) — The Indian government on Friday reimposed a curfew on south Kashmir and the city of Srinagar to prevent a planned march by separatist protesters.

South Kashmir’s four districts, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, and the largest city in Kashmir, Srinagar, will be affected by the curfew, which Indian police said was enacted to maintain law and order. Some restrictions — mainly in communications — were imposed in north Kashmir and some areas of central Kashmir.

“Curfew and restrictions have been imposed in many parts of the Valley including Srinagar city,” a senior police official said. “People are advised to cooperate with the administration to prevent anti-social elements from causing trouble.”

Separatist rebels had asked supporters to march toward downtown Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid, or Jamia Mosque, to pay tribute to people killed in recent clashes in the Kashmir Valley. After the death of a top rebel commander on July 8, violent clashes between Indian government forces and protesters have led to at least 49 civilian deaths. Two police officer have been killed.

Kashmir has also been affected by a strike called by separatists. Schools, colleges, public transport and many businesses have been shut down. India and Pakistan both contest the Kashmir Valley, which has led to two wars over control of the territory since its independence from Britian in 1947.

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