Separatists protest against government in Srinagar

October 17th, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

Srinagar, Oct 17 (ANI): At least 20 people, including six policemen, were wounded in Srinagar, when police clashed with hundreds of separatist protesting against the Government on Friday.

The Jammu-Kashmir Coordination Committee, a new alliance of Muslim separatists and representatives of businessmen and lawyers, called for the protests after Friday prayers.

“I have collectively appealed to the Kashmiri’’s that they should not sell their land either to the Government or to fellow Kashmiris for business purpose. Because if we do not want to be economically dependent then we have to create our own resources and land is important for that, ” said Yasin Malik, separatist leader who led the march in the heart of Srinagar.

Police used teargas and batons to disperse hundreds of stone-pelting demonstrators shouting, “We want freedom,” and “La ilaha illalah” (There is no god, but Allah) in several parts of Srinagar.

The latest round of protests comes at a time when violence involving Indian troops and separatist guerrillas has declined significantly after India and Pakistan began a slow-moving peace process in 2004.

On Thursday, a group of 19 businessmen from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) returned home after a weeklong trip to Jammu and Kashmir to discuss better trade across the border.

India and Pakistan have agreed to start bilateral trade across the Line of Control from October 21.

Last week, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh made a two-day visit to Kashmir when he expressed sadness over the deaths of protesters and offered fresh dialogue with the separatists to end the violence. (ANI)

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