SRINAGAR: The death toll from clashes in Indian occupied Kashmir rose to 45 on Sunday, after a week of unrest following the killing of a popular rebel commander by Indian forces.
The latest killing came as Indian forces gunned down a Kashmiri youth in Saderkote area of Bandipora district after peaceful demonstrations sparked by the murder of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian government forces on July 8.
The disputed territory has since been gripped by intensifying unrest.
According to reports, an unidentified lady was also injured in the firing in Bandipora district.
The violence comes as Indian forces seized tens of thousands of newspapers and detained printing press workers, ramping up an information blackout in the disputed region.
Teams of officers swooped on major newspaper offices in the restive region overnight, seizing printing plates in an attempt to curb news of fatal clashes from spreading as a curfew was extended into its ninth day.
“Police on Saturday night raided the printing press and seized the printed copies of Kashmir Reader,” the English-language daily said on its website, adding that eight of its workers had been arrested.
Newspaper copies that had reached some distributors in the main city of Srinagar were also taken by police, said Irfan, a local who gave only one name.
“The policemen seized the plates of Greater Kashmir (newspaper) and more than 50,000 printed copies of (Urdu-language daily) Kashmir Uzma and closed down the GKC printing press,” said another group that publishes the region’s highest-circulation newspaper, adding that three of its workers had been detained.
“These are difficult times here. This is one of the ways to contain the mayhem,” a senior local government official told news agency AFP on condition of anonymity.
Protesters in the past week have torched police stations and armoured vehicles and hurled stones at military camps in the restive territory where an estimated 500,000 Indian troops, deeply resented by locals, are stationed.
More than 3,000 people have been injured, including around 200 police, while hospitals have struggled to cope with the rush of injured protesters.
Hundreds have bullet wounds including many who suffered severe eye injuries caused by shotgun pellets fired by the police.
The violence is the worst since 2010 when huge rallies were crushed, leaving 120 dead.