Protests continue in Indian-controlled Kashmir over Israeli attacks on Gaza
SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir continued for the third straight day on Monday against Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.
Hundreds of people, mostly students, in various towns including Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir, took to the street to express their anger over the killing of Palestinians in Israeli military assault.
The protesters shouted slogans such as "Down with Israel" and burnt Israeli flags, and were demanding an immediate end to the ongoing deadly strikes.
Israeli air strikes on Gaza have entered its seventh day and Palestinian officials said 172 people have been killed and more than 1,200 wounded in Gaza so far.
Hundreds of students from several educational institutions gathered in Srinagar city's center Lal Chowk (red square) to express solidarity with the people of Gaza.
The agitating students holding placards took out a protest march.
"Save Gaza, Stop killing in Gaza, Stop Genocide," read some of the placards.
The students also burnt an Israeli flag as a mark of protest.
"All Muslim countries must unite and take a strong action against Israel immediately," Shahad Ali, a protester, said. "Why aren't U.S. and other western powers, the so called champion of human rights, coming out to support the beleaguered residents of Gaza."
Police contingents made several unsuccessful bids to stop the peaceful protests. Later on the protesting students were also joined by pedestrians and shopkeepers.
Demonstrations were also held in Maisuma and Jamia Masjid. However, police dispersed the protesters there.
A group of protesters reached at the gates of Srinagar UN office housing mission of United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan, seeking international intervention to stop Israeli attacks.
Reports said similar protests were held in Sopore, Bandipora, Shopian and Anantnag towns.
Local government employees under the banner of Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC) and some activists of Communist Party of India-Marxist also staged demonstrations in Srinagar condemning Israeli attacks.
Kashmir Bar Association, an association of lawyers, also held demonstrations in Srinagar court complex denouncing Israel.
Local religious leaders and clerics have asked people to boycott Israeli made products in Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"As a mark of a protest over the continuous massacre of Palestinians in Gaza by Israel, there should be a complete boycott of Israeli products in Kashmir," said a statement by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference.
Reports from Gaza said thousands of people fled their homes in the wake of Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" offensive.