Shutdown in Indian Kashmir after youth dies in protests


Commercial activity in India-administered Kashmir came to a halt on Sunday as separatist leaders called a strike after a demonstrator was killed in clashes with troops.

Gowhar Ahmad Dar, 22, died after being hit on the head by a tear-gas shell as security forces tried to disperse protesters on the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday.

The mob was throwing stones during a demonstration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city earlier in the day.

Markets and businesses were closed in Srinagar, where a security clampdown continued with barricades and barbed wire placed at sensitive areas, police officials said.

Public transport was not running, and few taxis and private vehicles were seen on the roads. There were also reduced services in other towns in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.

Leaders of the separatist Hurriyat group called for a strike to protest Dar’s death. Officials said there would be an investigation.

The incident came shortly after Modi’s visit to Srinagar, where he announced a 12-billion-dollar economic package for the development of the insurgency-hit state.

Strong anti-India sentiment in the disputed Kashmir region often pits protestors against security forces, who are present in large numbers to control an occasionally violent secessionist movement.