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Kashmir curfew thwarts separatist march

SRINAGAR, India — Thousands of Indian police and paramilitary forces enforced a strict curfew in Kashmir on Tuesday, preventing a planned march to protest at the house arrest of a hardline separatist leader.

The organisers of recent anti-India protests in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley had called for the march to Syed Ali Geelani’s house in the region’s summer capital of Srinagar to protest against his detention.

Geelani is the head of a hardline separatist faction that has been spearheading protests against Indian rule since early June that have left some 110 protesters and bystanders dead.

Kashmir authorities imposed a strict curfew in Srinagar and other major towns on Tuesday to stop the march taking place.

“The situation at this hour continues to remain under control throughout the Kashmir valley,” a police statement said Tuesday afternoon, adding the curfew had been imposed to “maintain law and order.”

The valley has recently witnessed some of the biggest demonstrations since the eruption of an armed insurgency in 1989.

The protests were triggered on June 11, when a 17-year student was killed by a police teargas shell.

The killing sparked a cycle of violence, with every subsequent death sparking further protests.

The unrest has subsided in recent days after India announced several measures to appease local anger.

Sixteen security bunkers have been removed from Srinagar, 50 jailed protesters have been released and justice has been promised to the families of those killed.

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