Web posted at: 3/16/2006 0:46:25 Source ::: AFP
SRINAGAR: At least eight people were hurt yesterday when riot police baton-charged survivors of last October’s earthquake in Kashmir who were demanding more financial help, police said.
Several hundred protesters blocked the main highway in northern Baramulla district to demonstrate against what they said was “inadequate monetary compensation” to erect new houses and to renovate damaged ones.
Police fired several warning shots in the air but did not succeed in dispersing the protesters. “We had to resort to baton-charging and firing teargas shells to disperse them and make way for traffic,” a police officer said, adding eight people received minor injuries in the police action.
Residents said over a dozen were injured. The October 8 earthquake killed 74,000 people in Pakistan and its zone of Kashmir and more than 1,300 in Kashmir, which is in the grip of a 16-year insurgency that has left over 44,000 people dead by official count.