People in Indian-administered Kashmir have launched a three-day strike over the secret execution of a Kashmiri man by the Indian government. The strike started on Wednesday, with the strikers demanding the return of the body of the Kashmiri man. Meanwhile, authorities have banned the gathering of more than four people in a bid to prevent protests in the region. Indian authorities hanged Mohammad Afzal Guru on February 9 in a New Delhi prison for his alleged role in the December 2001 attacks on the Indian parliament. He was buried inside the prison.
Guru’s execution provoked angry demonstrations in the Himalayan region, where most people believe he had not gotten a fair trial. Three people died during the demonstrations, including a teenager who was shot by Indian security forces.Ahead of the execution, authorities declared a curfew in most of the Kashmir region and ordered people to remain indoors indefinitely in anticipation of anti-India protests. On December 13, 2001, five gunmen stormed the parliament complex in New Delhi. However, all were shot dead before entering the legislative chamber. Ten other people, mostly security guards, were also killed. In 2002, an Indian court found Guru guilty of arranging to obtain weapons for the attackers. He denied all the charges against him. Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 65 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the region in full but each only has control over a section of the territory. Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count, although other sources say the death toll could be as high as 90,000. MR/HJL