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Unrest in Kashmir Surges Once More

Anti-government protests have escalated again in Indian-administered Kashmir, following violent clashes earlier this month. On April 9, an election was held for a parliamentary seat, but voter turnout was only 7 percent. Demonstrators who had gathered around polling places clashed with riot police, and were met with a violent response, leaving at least eight dead. Since then, a new cycle of protests and violent crackdowns—followed by responses to those crackdowns—has begun, leaving dozens dead and more injured. In Kashmir, the Indian government has been battling armed rebels in a low-level conflict for decades, while working against separatists, anti-India demonstrations, an increasingly radicalizing population, and more. Recent clashes with students in the streets of Srinagar resulted in brutal acts carried out by the Indian security forces being caught on video and spread via social media. Today, the government responded by blocking 16 social media sites in the region, including Facebook and Twitter.

Indian paramilitary soldiers use a slingshot to fire glass marbles at Kashmiri protesters during a protest in Srinagar on April 21, 2017. # Indian government forces chase Kashmiri students during a protest against the attack by Indian government forces on students, on April 24, 2017, in Srinagar. Kashmiri students shout slogans as they clash with police in Srinagar on April 24, 2017. # Indian policemen detain a protester during a clash between students and police in Srinagar on April 24, 2017. # Indian policemen detain Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chairman Yasin Malik during a protest march in Srinagar on February 10, 2017. An Indian policeman places dirt on a road, covering bloodstains at the scene after suspected rebels attacked Indian government forces on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, on the outskirts of Srinagar, on April 3, 2017. Six Indian soldiers and a civilian were injured in the incident. An Indian army soldier keeps vigil on a vehicle after rebels ambushed an army convoy on the outskirts of Srinagar on April 1, 2017. # A Kashmiri villager grieves near the body of Mohammad Ayoub Wani, a civilian killed in a grenade blast, in Goosu, Indian-controlled Kashmir, on March 3, 2017. Indian policemen pay homage during the wreath-laying ceremony of their colleague Shams-ud-din at the police headquarters in Srinagar on April 3, 2017. A policeman was killed and ten others were wounded in a grenade attack in Nowhatta area of downtown in Srinagar on Sunday evening. A masked Kashmiri demonstrator smokes a cigarette during a protest against the recent killing of a civilian, in Srinagar, on April 17, 2017.