Kashmir to impose curfew, use drones for vigil ahead of Eid festival
SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Indian-controlled Kashmir will impose a curfew during the Eid festival starting from Tuesday and will use drones and choppers for air surveillance to limit any violence in the strife-torn state.
Seventy-six protesters have been killed and more than 7,000 wounded in clashes since July in the worst violence in six years in the disputed territory. Two police officers and more than 5,000 security personnel have been wounded.
Authorities decided to impose a curfew and keep an aerial watch after reviewing the situation ahead of the festival, a police spokesman said on Monday.
On Tuesday, Kashmiri separatists are scheduled to march to the United Nations Military Observers Group India Pakistan (UNMOGIP) Office in Srinagar, the state capital.
“It has become imperative to impose a strict curfew . . . in view of the separatist march,” the spokesman said.
Mobile internet and cell phone services have been partially blocked ahead of the festival, the second such disruption since July 9, the day after security services shot dead Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old militant known for his calls to arms on social media.
Wani led Hizb-ul Mujahideen, prominent among the groups fighting Indian control of the majority Muslim region.
His death came amid a rise in violence and separatist sentiment across the state, which has been at the center of a decades-long tussle between India and Pakistan.
(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari; Editing by Mayank Bhardwaj and Hugh Lawson)