Riots rage in Kashmir

Police and protesters clash as unrest over land row enters second week.

    Kashmiris throw stones at policemen during
    a protest in Srinagar [AFP]

    Controversial allotment

    The protests were sparked after the state government transferred 99 acres of land to a board that governs a local Hindu shrine. The land was meant to be used to build facilities for the thousands of pilgrims that flock to the shrine each year.

    But Kashmir's Muslims say the move was a ploy to encourage Hindu migration to the state, which is held in part by India and Pakistan, but claimed by both in full. 

    The Indian government dismissed the accusation, saying India has never encouraged Hindus to settle in the region.

    Over the past week, police have used live ammunition, tear gas and bamboo batons to disperse crowds. At least four people were killed in police firing and more than 300 people have been injured.

    More than a dozen separatist groups have been fighting since 1989 for Jammu and Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. At least 50,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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