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Authorities Briefly Relax Curfew in Indian-Controlled Kashmir

  • VOA News

Authorities have briefly relaxed a seven-day curfew in Indian-controlled Kashmir, after weeks of protests have left more than 35 people dead and hundreds injured.

Residents in Kashmir's main town of Srinagar were allowed to buy much-needed food and supplies from stores, that briefly re-opened on Saturday.

The curfew was imposed last Sunday by authorities who hoped to prevent further protests by Muslim separatists who are demanding independence from India.

A pro-independence group, the Jammu-Liberation Front, today called for the release of several separatist leaders who have been detained by police in the last week.

Tensions have run high in the Himalayan region since June, when the Indian government announced plans to transfer land in a Muslim-majority area to a Hindu shrine.

Muslim protests prompted the government to rescind the plan, angering Hindus.

The initial Muslim protest of the land transfer has now evolved into demonstrations against India's rule over the region.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India, but claimed by both. The countries have fought two wars over the disputed territory.

Islamic separatist groups have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan since 1989. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in insurgency-related violence.

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