SRINAGAR (Reuters) - In the worlds largest democracy, it is curfew time. Many of Indian-held Kashmirs streets lie deserted aside from stray dogs. Police, who have killed dozens of protesters defying Indias efforts to quell a struggle, stand at street corners in Srinagar. He only went out to get biscuits, said Maroofa Khan, telling how police shot dead her cousin, 17-year-old Mohammed Iqbal. A shop owner found Iqbal lying on the ground: a bullet pierced the back of his head, forcing an eyeball out of its socket. He died six days later. Iqbals shooting sparked street battles with police and his funeral drew tens of thousands, seething as the might of Indias state fell on two months of protests and strikes. The iron-fisted response to one of the biggest struggles against Indian rule in two decades has sparked debate whether Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs government has any idea about how to resolve disputed Kashmir. New Delhis reaction may have achieved something years of armed struggle failed to do: fuse a separatist cause with peaceful mass protests in a way that undermines any negotiated solution. The violence is small in contrast to when at least 47,000 people were killed in clashes involving Indian troops and freedom fighters in the two decades after the 1989 uprising broke out. But a radicalised youth relying on mass protests to promote their cause may prove a huge political challenge for the Indian govt. Twenty years ago India told us it was fighting the gun, said 80-year-old Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, long seen as a marginalised hardliner but now touted as a hero to many Kashmiris for his refusal to negotiate with New Delhi. They dont have that argument now. Anger has always been widespread at hundreds of thousands of Indian troops in Kashmir, one of the worlds most militarised regions. Army powers allowing arrest without trial and raids without warrants infuriated residents. But police killings this year appeared to be a tipping point. The Indian government has sent in federal police of mainly Hindus who do not speak Kashmiri. They are mostly despised by Kashmiris. People get shot mostly here and above, said one hospital surgeon, poking the journalist in the stomach. That is what I call shooting to kill. They are not aiming at the legs. Schools have been closed since June. Children spend hours closeted in homes. Srinagars main mosque has been shut for weeks by Indian forces. Barbed wire checkpoints spring up across the city. Several districts are out of bounds for journalists. But in scores of interviews, Kashmiris appear to support protests, contradicting New Delhis assertions that protests are sparked by Pakistan-inspired, stone-throwing trouble makers. Walking through Srinagar under curfew, streets were littered with stones. The silence was occasionally broken by police with automatic rifles menacingly banging batons on lampposts. But several Kashmiris shouted freedom at the passing journalists. Soup kitchens have been set up by Muslim volunteer groups as supplies run short. Volunteer teachers have set up schools in makeshift buildings. Huddled on one alley and nervously eying nearby police, several residents recounted how police pelted stones to break their house windows and raided their homes at will. Everyone feels the same. We just want India out, said Khan, a 28-year-old shopkeeper. He pointed out a six-year-old boy whose leg was smashed by a police baton. The government says shootings follow attacks by stone throwing protesters who torch buildings and police stations. Authorities say more than 1,000 police have been injured. Officials point out that pro-India IHK Chief Minister Omar Abdullah won the last state election in 2008 with a turnout of more than 60 percent. But the killing of at least 50 protesters and the wounding of hundreds more, including one child who lost an eye from a marble catapulted by police, has dashed Kashmiris hopes that Abdullah would bring changes. We then voted for development, said Khan, who only gave his first name for fear of reprisal. But nothing happened. When we stop protesting, India forgets about us. Many young protesters are now using social networks Facebook and Twitter to organise protests. I dont protest on the streets. I protest on Facebook, said Shahnawaz Syed, a 24 year-old computer sciences post graduate. I spend curfews sleeping, then Facebook, sleep, then Facebook.