Kitchen-Table Fury

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Four people died and at least 100 were injured after days of violent protests in the Pakistani-administered province of Kashmir, officials said Tuesday, demonstrations that were ignited over the rising price of flour and electricity, the BBC reported.

Over the weekend, thousands of people, led by a local group called the Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC), demonstrated across the semi-autonomous Himalayan region demanding subsidies for flour and electricity.

As tensions grew, the regional government cut off mobile services, suspended schools and public transportation, and sent in police and paramilitary troops.

On Saturday, protesters clashed with authorities, resulting in the four fatalities, including one police officer.

The JAAC called off the demonstrations Tuesday after Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved $82 million in subsidies for wheat and flour.

Still, the group – made up of local labor leaders, traders and other civil society – blamed paramilitary troops for the casualties. They called for more protests and financial compensation for the families of those killed in the violence.

JAAC representatives told Al Jazeera that protests were rooted in demands dating back to last year after “a massive wheat crisis” that saw an increase in the prices of electricity and flour.

The group had issued 10 demands to the government that included subsidized flour and improved financial integration with the rest of Pakistan. The government agreed to nine of the demands in February, but the JAAC alleged that it failed to deliver them in the following months.

Regional authorities countered that they already reduced the prices of electricity and flour, but protesters claimed that the reductions did not go far enough.

Meanwhile, the incident also prompted suspicions among officials that India played a role in the weekend clashes.

India and Pakistan have fought a series of wars over the region since 1947, with both sides claiming it as their own. However, each nation controls only parts of it.

Pakistani officials blamed “enemy propaganda” for sparking the tensions, but stopped short of accusing India.

The JAAC rejected accusations that it was supported by India.

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