4 Killed as Kashmir Muslims Clash With Security Forces in Protest Over Road Blockade by Hindus

August 11, 2008

Author: Aijaz Hussain

Source: The Associated Press


Security forces fired bullets and tear gas Monday trying to stop marches by Kashmir Muslims protesting a road blockade by Hindus, leaving four people dead, including the leader of an alliance of nonviolent separatist groups.

Police later ordered a curfew for most of Indian Kashmir.

Sheikh Abdul Aziz, the leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, was shot in Chehel after a crowd pushed aside police barricades and fought with security officers who tried to stop them from walking toward the dividing line with Pakistan's portion of Kashmir.

He died from a bullet rupturing his liver, said Manzoor Ahmed, the doctor who treated him. Three other people were also killed and several dozen were injured in the violence.

There was no immediate comment from government officials.

The demonstrators were attempting to march to Pakistani Kashmir to protest a blockade by Hindus of a key highway that links the Kashmir Valley with the rest of India.

The protests were the latest development in a political crisis that began in June with a dispute over land near a Hindu shrine and has exposed tensions between Muslims and Hindus in India's only Muslim-majority state.