Clashes erupt in Indian Kashmir over Charlie Hebdo

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India-kashmir-strike
A Kashmiri Muslim man beats the burning effigy representing
the French magazine Charlie Hebdo during a protest in Srinagar, India,
Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.
By The Associated Press14 minutes ago

Government forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir fired warning shots
and tear gas Friday to disperse Muslim protesters angry at the
publication of a caricature of Prophet Muhammad in the latest issue of
French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

Protests broke out in the main city of Srinagar after Friday prayers
with worshippers carrying placards reading “Down with Charlie” and
chanting slogans against the Indian rule and in favor of Islam.

Security fired shots and tear gas in at least at three places, while the protesters hurled rocks at them, police said.

Similar protests were also reported in several towns and villages in the disputed Himalayan region.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries.

Police overnight detained a top pro-independence leader, Mohammed
Yasin Malik, who called the strike and protests against the magazine’s
latest issue, which shows a drawing of a tearful Prophet Muhammad
holding a sign “I am Charlie” in French. It was published following a
Jan. 7 attack on the magazine’s Paris office that killed 12 people.

India Kashmir Strike
Kashmiri Muslims shout anti-French and pro-religious slogans during a protest in Srinagar, India, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.

Many Muslims believe their faith forbids depictions of the prophet.

The region has witnessed several protests against the latest cartoon, but

Friday’s shutdown was the first major reaction in Kashmir since the Paris attacks.

Friday’s shutdown was the first major reaction in Kashmir since the Paris attacks.
“By encouraging and allowing the reproduction of the highly
provocative and insulting caricatures of our beloved prophet, the West
has contemptuously disregarded sensitivities of the Muslim world,” wrote
Hassan Zainagairee, a columnist in Greater Kashmir, the region’s
largest English daily.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, and both claim it in its entirety since British colonialists left in 1947.

Since 1989, several rebel groups have been fighting to win Kashmir’s
independence or have the Indian-controlled portion merge with Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people, mainly civilians, have died in the armed uprising and subsequent Indian military crackdown.

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