SRINAGAR - Police shot dead another protester on Thursday in Occupied Kashmir, bringing the death toll from days of rioting to 22 as authorities stepped up security on the eve of Indian Independence Day festivities. Police opened fire on dozens of stone-hurling demonstrators who marched in defiance of a curfew in Srinagar, killing one and wounding another, a doctor and residents said. Srinagar and other parts of the valley have been the scene of four days of some of the biggest anti-India protests to shake the region in two decades. At least 22 people have been killed and 600 injured. Many of the casualties were caused when security forces opened fire in what authorities said was an attempt to disperse demonstrators. "One person died of bullet injuries while another was injured," a doctor at Srinagar's main hospital said on Thursday, declining to give his name. Police were not immediately available for comment. The demonstrations, triggered by a Kashmir government decision in June to donate local land to a Hindu pilgrimage trust, have shattered several years of relative calm here brought about by the India-Pakistan peace process. US-based Human Rights Watch called on India to 'refrain from using lethal force against violent protesters... unless it is absolutely necessary to protect life'. The protests have given new life to independence movement. Security forces patrolled Srinagar and other troubled areas of the state amid fears of attacks on Friday, India's Independence Day - a day when they have traditionally carried out strikes. "We have intelligence inputs that militants may try to carry out attacks on or before Independence Day," defence spokesman SD Goswami said, saying security had been tightened even further for the event. The celebrations are boycotted by APHC leaders and the event is marked as a 'black day' in the region. But authorities relaxed the four-day-old curfew in force in much of Kashmir on Thursday for a few hours to allow residents to stock up on supplies. Late on Wednesday, thousands of protesters shouting "We want freedom" poured onto the streets, reviving memories of demonstrations in the early 1990s in support of the separatist insurgency. "It's just like the 1990s when we spent nights on the streets shouting at the top of our voices," said protester Sofia Jabeen, 40.