By Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – At least five people were injured in a grenade attack in India-controlled Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar on Saturday, police said, the second such attack since India stripped the Himalayan region of its special status.
“Terrorists lobbed a grenade at HSH Street Srinagar,” Kashmir police said on Twitter. “All (injured) are stated to be stable. Area under cordon,” it said, adding that a search operation was underway.
The attack took place in central Srinagar’s Hari Singh High street, and the victims are being treated at the Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital, a police official and a staff member at the hospital said. They declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak publicly.
Most shops at the attack site were shuttered Saturday as people have resisted opening them to protest against India’s move in August to scrap the special status the Jammu and Kashmir state had under the Indian constitution.
There is anger and discontent among many in Kashmir over that decision. At the time, India blocked phone and internet across the region and sent in thousands of additional troops, imposing curfew-like restrictions to dampen discontent.
India has said its move was essential to integrate Kashmir fully into India and spur development in the Muslim-majority region, which is also claimed by India’s arch rival Pakistan.
But critics have said India’s move could push more Kashmiris towards militancy.
A grenade attack in southern Kashmir’s Anantnag city a week ago injured 10 people, police said.
Many in Srinagar have staged protests against the government move, despite the curbs.
Communication and travel restrictions have gradually been eased and India said by Monday it would partially restore mobile phone lines, although the internet still remains largely blocked.
(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari in Srinagar; Writing by Zeba Siddiqui; Editing by Frances Kerry)