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Six killed in Kashmir protests

  • Story Highlights
  • Protests in Kashmir valley also injured at least 55
  • Fruit growers started the demonstrations Monday
  • Growers were upset that Hindu protesters had blocked a highway into India
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SRINAGAR, India-Controlled Kashmir (CNN) -- At least six people were killed and 55 hurt Tuesday in clashes between Indian police and villagers protesting in three communities in India-controlled Kashmir, police said.

Protests were taking place across the Kashmir valley Tuesday despite a round-the-clock curfew. Authorities ordered the curfew after four people were killed in clashes between protesters and police.

Fruit growers started the demonstrations Monday. They were upset that Hindu protesters had blocked a highway leading into India, preventing their crops from getting to market.

The four killed Monday included a senior separatist leader, Sheikh Abdul Aziz, police said. The violence happened in north Kashmir's Chahal village.

Villagers across the valley ignored the curfew Tuesday to take to the streets. They demonstrated against what they see as the police's excessive use of force against the fruit growers.

On Tuesday morning, police fired into a crowd of protesters in the town of Bandipore, in the north of India-controlled Kashmir, killing three villagers and wounding five others.

Three more protesters died in clashes with police in Lasjan and Rainawari, two suburbs of the capital city, Srinagar, police said.

Another 55 were hurt, including some police officers, police said.

Kashmir fruit growers announced the Monday march last week to protest what they allege is an "economic blockade" by Hindu protesters. The Hindu protesters have conducted violent demonstrations for more than a month, demanding restoration of land allotted to a Hindu board.

Journalist Mukhtar Ahmad contributed to this report.

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