SRINAGAR, India (IBN) — Fifteen people were hurt when police and protesters clashed for a sixth consecutive day Saturday in Indian Kashmir as resistance to the provision of land to a Hindu pilgrim body deepened.
Three Kashmiris have died in police fire this week and over 250 have been injured in clashes, evoking memories of widespread anti-India protests that swept the region after a separatist insurgency broke out in 1989.
Daily life has halted in the main city of Srinagar since the protests began on Monday. Protesters have been setting fires, destroying government property and hoisting green Islamic flags.
Shops, offices and banks also remained shut for the sixth consecutive day as protests spread to other parts of Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.
Riot police used teargas and fired into the air to disperse protesters at over a dozen places in Srinagar on Saturday, injuring 15 people, police and residents said.
Police also foiled an attempt by protesters to attack a police station, eye-witnesses said.
Thousands of people marched from downtown Srinagar to the commerical area of Lal Chowk, chanting "we want freedom" and "we will not allow sale of Kashmir."
On the way, protesters set fire to effigies of state leaders.
"People have every right to register their protest but it should be within the ambit of law," Srinagar police chief Syed Mujtaba told reporters.
On Friday, tens of thousands of people poured onto the streets of Srinagar in some of the biggest pro-freedom protests in almost two decades.
The unrest was sparked by a state government decision last week to transfer some land to a Hindu trust for the construction of accommodation for tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims making an annual pilgrimage to a mountain grotto.
Separatists say it is a ploy to settle Indian Hindus in Kashmir.
Officials dismiss the allegations, arguing that New Delhi has never tried to encourage Hindu migration to the disputed region. The Indian constitution also prohibits outsiders from buying land in Kashmir.
Tensions have remained high despite a promise by the state's chief minister that no construction would be permitted until further notice.
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