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Deadly grenade blast rocks crowded Kashmir marketplace

Kashmir has been subject to a violent militancy since 1989. [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 November, 2019

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A dozen non-locals have been killed recently by suspected militants, who police say are attempting to instill fear among non-Kashmiris in a bid to drive them out of the area.
At least one person was killed and 17 others wounded on Monday in a grenade blast in a crowded marketplace in Srinagar, the main city in Jammu and Kashmir (Indian administered Kashmir), AFP reported.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast, but authorities have in the past accused militants backed by Pakistan of intimidating people into resisting the presence of the Indian army.

Kashmir has been on a knife-edge since New Delhi revoked the region’s semi-autonomous status in August, imposing a lockdown, blacking out communications, and detaining thousands.

[Also read: The only way we can resist: Cricket, politics and identity in Kashmir]

Doctors at the main hospital said that the deceased was a resident the northern India state of Uttar Pradesh, and that “two people are critical.”

Haseem Mughal, the Srinagar police chief told AFP that 18 people were injured out of whom one died at the hospital.

A dozen non-locals - including six last week - have been killed recently by suspected militants, who police say are attempting to instill fear among non-Kashmiris in a bid to drive them out of the area.

Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan, who have fought two major and one minor war over it. It has been subject to a violent militancy since 1989, which the Indian government has said is backed by Pakistan.

New Delhi’s move to revoke Kashmir’s constitutionally granted semi-autonomous status was met with widespread protests across the region and in Pakistan. Even though some communications have been restored, around half of mobile phones remain cut off along with internet, and hundreds of local political leaders remain in detention – mostly without charge.

Kashmiris are engaging in a movement of civil disobedience to protest the action, keeping schools and public services closed, and halting Indian efforts to rekindle life in the valley.

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