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Curfew in Srinagar scuttles separatist march, 10 injured.

Summary: SRINAGAR: A separatist march to the office of United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in Srinagar Wednesday was thwarted by a stringent curfew even as 10 more persons were wounded in fresh protester-security force clashes across the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley.

By MUKHTAR AHMAD | ARAB NEWS

The march had been called by the moderate separatist group All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and supported by the hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani to protest "the landing of Indian troops this day in 1947" following partition of the Indian sub-continent into India and Pakistan and accession by the states Hindu Maharaja to India.

Geelani, who is spearheading the ongoing unrest in Kashmir, had asked the people to observe the day as "a black day" and stage peaceful protests.

In a statement Geelani termed Oct. 27 when the first batch of Indian troops landed in Kashmir as "the sorrowful and ominous day in the history of south Asia."

"Since October 1947, India has been holding Kashmir by its military might," Geelani said in a statement.

Thousands of Indian police and paramilitary troops were spread across the Kashmir capital Srinagar early Wednesday to strictly enforce the curfew.

All the entry points to the city were sealed by coils of razor fitted wire and other barricades.

Roads leading to the UNMOG headquarters located in the posh Sonwar locality of capital city were also sealed by the Indian police and no movement was allowed.

Curfew was also imposed in other towns of Kashmir and security was tightened there as well. Nevertheless clashes between pro-independence protesters and security forces erupted in capital city and other towns, according to police.

Indian police had to open fire to quell highly surcharged pro-independence protesters who pelted rocks and stones at the security forces in north Kashmir Bandipore town leaving four civilians wounded.

One of the critically injured youth was evacuated to capital Srinagar for treatment.

According to a police statement three cops were also injured in the clashes.

In the old city clashes were continuing till late this evening. Security forces shelled tear smoke and used batons to break up the protesters shouting anti-India slogans.

Kashmir Valley, a source of conflict between the two south Asian nuclear neighbors, India and Pakistan has been in the grip of an unending pro-independence unrest since June 11 this year and has claimed 111 lives and left hundreds others wounded.

Most of the killed were teenagers and youth and felled by the Indian security forces bullets, triggering an unremitting cycle of violence and protests.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Oct 28, 2010
Words:444
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