Killing sparks protests in Kashmir

Separatist protests in Kashmir, like this one last week, have left thousands of people dead.
Protesters — angry about the killing of a carpenter, allegedly by Indian paramilitary forces — on Thursday stormed the streets of a village near Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir.

The 35-year-old carpenter was killed in front of family members when a patrol unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) entered his house in the southern village of Kashmir Kheegam for a search, locals said. The carpenter, the father of four young children, died on the spot. In response, villagers on Thursday staged massive protests, shouting anti-India and pro-independence slogans. A spokesman for the paramilitary force said the patrol unit had been shot at in the village and returned fire, killing one person. Senior state government officers visited the spot in an effort to calm villagers. Local police registered a murder case against the paramilitary personnel involved in the shooting. Meanwhile, the paramilitary suspended four members, including an officer.

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Police also have approached the paramilitary about identifying and handing over suspects for investigation. “Investigation in the case will be completed soon and the case produced before the competent court,” Dr. B. Srinivas, Kashmir zone inspector general of police, told CNN. The killing follows a similar incident in the northern village of Kashmir Bomai last month, when an Indian army patrol allegedly shot two youths, triggering massive protests that have not died down. Indian home minister P.Chidambaram, who was in the state on Wednesday, has assured action against the guilty once the inquiry is completed. Kashmir has been gripped by bloody separatist violence, during which 43,000 people have been killed, according to the official figure. Nongovernment organizations have put the number at twice that.