Protester dies, scores arrested in Indian Kashmir lockdown

Srinagar (India) (AFP) –


A protester died after being chased by police and more than 100 people were arrested during a curfew in Kashmir's main city after the restive region's autonomy was scrapped by India, officials said Wednesday.

The death was confirmed by police after the government passed a presidential decree on Monday stripping the Muslim-majority state of its longstanding semi-autonomous privileges.

Despite a paralysing curfew imposed to head off unrest, sporadic protests have been reported by residents in the main city, Srinagar.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that in one incident a youth being chased by police "jumped into the Jhelum river and died".

The incident happened in Srinagar's old town which has become a hotbed of anti-India protests during the three-decade insurgency in Kashmir that has left tens of thousands dead.

A source told AFP that at least six people have been admitted to hospital in Srinagar with gunshot wounds and other injuries from protests.

More than 100 people, included political leaders and activists, have been arrested as part of the lockdown for being a threat to the peace in the Himalayan valley, officials told the Press Trust of India.

Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, along with regional party leader Sajad Lone, were placed under house arrest at the weekend and then reportedly taken to a guesthouse by authorities.

The reports came as footage of national security adviser Ajit Doval eating and speaking to locals on the streets of Srinagar was shown on Indian television news channels on Wednesday.

Doval reportedly met with state governor Satya Pal Malik on Tuesday to discuss the security situation.

Indian police insist that Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan, has been mainly peaceful since the curfew was imposed at midnight Sunday.

Officials told PTI the only disturbances were "very few incidents of stone-pelting".