Kashmiri strike marks 'Black Day' ahead of India PM's visit

Kashmiri strike marks the 62nd anniversary of what they call New Delhi's occupation over the troubled region.

Kashmiri strike marks 'Black Day' ahead of India PM's visit

Shops and businesses closed on Tuesday in Kashmir's main city in response to a strike called by pro-freedom activists, a day before a planned visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The strike, called by Kashmiri Muslim leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, marks the 62nd anniversary of what they call New Delhi's occupation over the troubled region.

"By observing a strike on October 27 Kashmiris will make it clear to the international community that they are still protesting Indian occupation with vigour," Geelani said in a statement. "October 27 is a black day for Kashmir."

The former independent state has been disputed by India and Pakistan since they won independence from Britain in 1947 after a bloody partition. The two countries have fought two of their three wars over the region.

The streets in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, and other major towns in the valley were largely deserted, witnesses said. The strike closed most of the schools and colleges.

The Indian army marks the event as "Martyrs' Day."

Geelani called for a complete shutdown on Wednesday during a visit by Manmohan Singh, who is scheduled to inaugurate a railway line in south Kashmir.

Indian media said, "police detained at least 15 people, including a senior leader of a faction of Hurriyat Conference to protest Indian army.

After the partition, independent Kashmir, with its Muslim population, was expected to go to Pakistan.

Kashmiris see India as an "occupier" since then and accuse the ruling of systematic violations, killing dozens of civilians in Himalayan region.

Tens of thousands of Muslims have been killed since pro-independent moves grew against Indian rule in 1989.

In 1948, the United Nations adopted a resolution calling for a referendum for Kashmir to determine whether the Himalayan region should be part of India and Pakistan. But India has rejected to hold referendum in Kashmiri territory.

Indian security forces have been accused in the past of human rights violations, including rape and extrajudicial killings.

Authorities deny any systematic violations and say all reports are investigated and the guilty punished.



Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Ekim 2009, 17:27
YORUM EKLE