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India: Protests held in Shopian (Kashmir) March 5 /update 1

Protests break out in Shopian (Kashmir) on March 5 following recent violence by security forces; further protests possible

07 Mar 02:56 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 3/5/2018, 12:00 AM until 3/5/2018, 11:59 PM (UTC). COUNTRY/REGION India
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Event

Violent protests broke out in the town of Shopian (Jammu and Kashmir state) on Monday, March 5. The protests, which reportedly involved at least 10,000 people, were sparked by the recent killing of four civilians in a gunfight in Shopian overnight on March 3-4. According to local sources, security forces dispersed the protests using tear gas. Restrictions on internet, public transportation, and rail services in parts of southern Kashmir remain in effect as of Tuesday, March 6.

Anticipate a heightened security presence in Shopian district. Additional protests are possible in the area in the coming days and weeks.

Context

Overnight on March 3-4 clashes broke out in Shopian after unknown assailants fired upon an army vehicle. Four civilians and two suspected militants were reportedly killed in the gunfight. On March 5, authorities suspended public transportation and rail services in parts of southern Kashmir, in a bid to prevent pro-separatist protests.

A three-decade long insurgency continues in parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Some sepratist groups support the complete independence of Kashmir, while others favor an annexation by neighboring Pakistan.

Advice

Individuals in Shopian are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.

Some western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Jammu and Kashmir, notably the area along the border with Pakistan. Individuals in area, including the city of Srinagar, should remain vigilant, avoid protests or large gatherings, and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities.

 

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