Truck driver killed in Kashmir ahead of Modi-Trump talks

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) – Stone-throwing protesters in Indian Kashmir killed a driver of what they thought was a military truck, police said yesterday, as a crippling security lockdown entered its fourth week.

The fatality came ahead of talks between Inidan Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States (US) President Donald Trump at the G7 in France when the president will reportedly press the Indian premier to lift a communications blackout in the restive region and show “utmost restraint”.

On August 5 Modi’s nationalist government revoked the autonomy of the territory where tens of thousands of people have been killed in an uprising against Indian rule since 1989, most of them civilians.

New Delhi sent reinforcements to the estimated half a million troops already stationed in Kashmir, cut phone lines and the Internet, placed severe restrictions on movement and arrested thousands, according to multiple sources.

The turning of the former Himalayan kingdom of seven million people into a fortress of barricades and barbed wire has not prevented protests and clashes with security forces taking place however.

In the latest demonstration last Sunday in Anantnag district protestors hurled stones at a truck that they believed to be a military vehicle. The 42-year-old driver was struck on the head and died, police said.

Kashmiri women march during an anti-India protest rally in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP