Eight protesters injured, restrictions reimposed in Kashmir

AFP . Srinagar, India | Update:

Protesters shout slogans at a rally against the Indian government`s move to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its autonomy and impose a communications blackout, in Srinagar on 16 August. Photo: AFP

Eight people have been injured during weekend protests in Kashmir's main city with authorities reimposing heavy restrictions to quell unrest in parts of the troubled region, officials said.

Tensions remain high in the disputed Himalayan territory following New Delhi's decision to strip its semi-autonomous status on 5 August.

Authorities were gradually easing a massive movement and communications lockdown imposed two weeks ago.

But clashes in a dozen locations around Srinagar on Saturday saw restrictions brought back in some locations, the Press Trust of India reported, citing unnamed officials.

Authorities have previously denied or played down reports of any violence and stressed that most of the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley has been peaceful.

Jammu and Kashmir government spokesman Rohit Kansal told reporters late Saturday that eight people had been injured in the clashes but did not provide further details.

A woman weeps inside her house after her household goods were allegedly damaged by Indian security forces following clashes between protesters and the security forces on Friday evening, during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the government, in Srinagar on 17 August. Photo: ReutersA senior government official told AFP earlier Sunday that more telephone exchanges would return to normal operations "by the evening".

Schools in some areas will reopen on Monday, officials said.

In the Hindu-majority city of Jammu, authorities cut mobile internet services and warned locals not to circulate messages or videos on social media that they said were fake, PTI reported.

Kashmiri women shout slogans at a protest after Friday prayers during restrictions after the Indian government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar on 16 August. Photo: ReutersThe Indian army also confirmed that one soldier was killed when it exchanged "heavy" cross-border fire with Pakistan on Saturday.

Kashmir has been divided between the two countries since independence, and has been the spark for two major wars and countless clashes between the two nuclear-armed arch-rivals.

A Kashmiri woman shows her hands with messages at a protest after Friday prayers during restrictions after the Indian government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar on 16 August. Photo: ReutersNew Delhi's shock decision to strip the special constitutional status of the part of Kashmir it controls and impose a lockdown has sparked public anger and frustration.

There have been several rallies in Srinagar over the past few days attracting thousands of demonstrators.

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