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Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:15PM
Security forces desperse an anti-Inida rally in Kashmir (file photo)

Security forces desperse an anti-Inida rally in Kashmir (file photo)

Security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir have used force to disperse a group of protesters outside the residence of senior pro-independence leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Paramilitary troops and police on Wednesday used batons and tear gas to disperse the protesters who answered Geelani’s call for people to rally outside his residence from where he intended to lead a march on the UN office. He later planned to submit a protest to the UN against the killings of Kashmiris by Indian security forces. The protests come in response to the killing of several youths by the Indian army in the disputed Himalayan Valley over the past few weeks. Meanwhile, Indian officials said they stopped a rally by lawyers in support of Kashmir’s pro-independence leader. A number of lawyers were also arrested. Several separatist groups who oppose New Delhi rule over the Muslim-majority region have supported the rally. Separatist leaders say the Indian government should hold the security forces accountable for human rights violations in Kashmir. Authorities have deployed large police and paramilitary troops in most parts of the capital of Srinagar to prevent fresh street demonstrations. Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 60 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both neighbors claim the region in full but have partial control over it. The neighbors agreed on a ceasefire in 2003 and launched a peace process the following year. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes, with both sides accusing the other of violating the ceasefire. JR/KA
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