One more dies in Valley, thousands protest | india | Hindustan Times
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One more dies in Valley, thousands protest

Thousands of people demonstrated in Kashmir on Sunday, police said, after a protester was killed by a police bullet in the 71st death in three months of unrest.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2010 20:52 IST

Thousands of villagers demonstrated in Kashmir on Sunday, police said, after a protester was killed by a police bullet in the 71st death in three months of unrest.

The 30-year-old man died in hospital Sunday after he was injured last week when police fired on a demonstration in the northern village of Palhalan.

His death brought thousands of residents in Palhalan and adjoining villages out onto the streets chanting pro-independence slogans, said residents reached by telephone.

"They are waiting for the body to arrive from a Srinagar hospital," said Ghulam Ahmed, a resident, adding that more and more villagers were joining the mourning protesters.

Security forces have been battling for months to contain violent demonstrations, ignited by the police killing of a 17-year-old student on June 11.

A total of 71 protesters and bystanders have died since the protests began in the Valley.

Palhalan, some 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Srinagar, has been tense since last Monday, when police opened fire on a violent demonstration, leaving four people dead and dozens more injured.

Each death sparks a fresh round of violence in the region.

A survey conducted for the Hindustan Times newspaper showed on Sunday that about two-thirds of residents seek independence, with less than one in ten seeking a merger with Pakistan.