Much of Kashmir Shuts Down as Separatists Mark 60 Years of Indian Army Presence

October 27, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The International Herald Tribune

Wire Service: AP

Police fired tear gas Saturday at rock-throwing protesters as a general strike called to mark 60 years of India's military presence in Kashmir shut down much of the Indian-controlled portion of the divided Himalayan territory, police said.

Some 200 Muslim youths took to the streets near the main mosque in the chief city of Srinagar, chanting slogans against Indian rule and throwing rocks at police who tried to stop them marching, said Sajad Ahmed, a local police officer.

Ahmed said at least three protesters and two policemen were injured in the clashes.

Shops, schools and businesses were closed and public transport stayed off the roads in Srinagar. Government services were also affected, with civil servants staying home.

Separatist political groups, who want Muslim-majority Kashmir's independence from mainly Hindu India or a union with mostly Muslim Pakistan, mark Oct. 27 as a "black day," commemorating the day Indian troops arrived in 1947.