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Video footage of Kashmiri man tied to Indian army jeep sparks fury

Kashmiri students clash with Indian government forces near a college in central Srinagar's Lal Chowk on April 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Viral video footage is circulating on social media showing a young Kashmiri man tied to the front of an Indian army jeep to deter protesters from throwing stones at the vehicle, causing outrage across the Indian-controlled Himalayan valley.

The video footage shows a man tied to the front of the vehicle. He is seated upright with his hands and legs bound as the vehicle drives through the streets of the Muslim-majority region.

The Kashmir University Students Union on Monday held protests in all colleges and universities following the Saturday incident. The union said the police action was designed to help the state "rule by repression and fear."

Hundreds of students clashed with government forces in Indian Kashmir during protests against a police raid on a college in the main city of Srinagar.

Around 100 students were injured as police used batons and tear gas to quell the protests. The unrest also spread to other parts of the Kashmir valley.

The protests began in Indian-controlled Kashmir's main city of Srinagar after hundreds of college students took to the streets to protest a police raid in a college in southern Pulwama town on Saturday, in which at least 50 students were injured.

Teenagers in school uniform and women students wearing white headscarves were among the protesters. They chanted anti-India slogans and threw stones at government forces.

According to police sources, clashes started after officers tried to stop students from marching in the city's main commercial hub, as the students chanted slogans "Go India, go back" and "We want freedom."

The protests then spread to several colleges in Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir, causing severe clashes between rock-throwing students and government forces, who fired shotgun pellets and tear gas.

In another case also on Sunday, a video shared by Kashmiri pro-independence leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, on his Twitter account, showed Indian security forces brutally torturing a Kashmiri youth. Four Indian troops held down the youth with their boots and used sticks to beat him.

The video was reportedly made in the area of Pulwama, a hotbed of unrest in the violence-hit valley.

The developments have once again raised concerns over the violation of human rights by Indian armed forces across the Muslim-majority region.

In the latest surge of violence in Kashmir, at least six people were killed on April 9, when Indian paramilitary forces clashed with protesters during a by-election in the main city of Srinagar.

Pro-independence factions in Kashmir had called for a boycott of the vote, resulting in heightened security and low voter turnout when the polling began.

Plight of Kashmiri people

The Muslim-majority region has witnessed an increase in mass protests and violent attacks since early July 2016, when Burhan Wani, a top figure in a pro-independence group, was killed in a shootout with Indian troops.

More than 90 people have lost their lives and more than 12,000 wounded in the ensuing crackdown. 

In recent months, the use of pellet guns by Indian forces in Kashmir has drawn widespread criticism as the weapons have caused permanent disabilities among victims.

The government crackdown has failed to halt the protests against the Indian rule in Kashmir. 

Pro-independence leaders blame India for denying the Kashmiri people the right to self-determination promised to them by the international community through numerous UN Security Council resolutions.  

A large number of Indian security forces have been deployed to Indian-controlled Kashmir, where groups have for decades been fighting for independence.

The region has been divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both since the two partitioned and gained independence from Britain in 1947. The two countries have fought three wars over the disputed territory.

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