On Sunday, June 25, stone-pelting protesters were met with tear gas from police forces during Eid al-Fitr (end of Ramadan) celebrations in the cities of Anantnag, Sopore, and Srinagar, located in India-controlled Jammu and Kashmir state.
Top separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were placed under house arrest ahead of Eid al-Fitr, due to fears that their presence at large gatherings could spark violence. The leader of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Mohammad Yasin Malik, was also taken into preventive custody at Srinagar's central jail.
Kashmir's police forces have been under increased pressure by militants, who have stepped up attacks on police and military troops. The armed revolt in the Muslim-majority region against Indian rule has been ongoing since 1989. Tensions increased in late May 2017 after Sazar Ahmad Bhat, the former leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen armed group, was killed during a security operation on May 27. Violent anti-India protests took place throughout the region in reaction to his death.
The JKLF is a secular and nationalist militant group that advocates for an independent Kashmir free from rule by India and Pakistan.
As a reminder, some foreign governments advise against travel to Jammu and Kashmir, in particular the border region with Pakistan, due to the high threat of terrorism and other violence.
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