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Thread: Ruling party activists gunned down in Kashmir

  1. #1
    Guest
    Two ruling party activists were gunned down in the heart of Indian Kashmir main city on Wednesday ahead of the second round of voting in a violence-racked state election.

    National Conference party workers Ali Mohammed Dar and Ghulam Rasool Mir were shot dead within hours of each other on the streets of Srinagar, the summer capital of the Himalayan state at the centre of a military stand-off between India and Pakistan.

    An opposition party worker was killed in another incident in north Kashmir overnight. They are the latest political workers to be targeted in a campaign of violence that has killed more than 450 people since early August -- 16 in the last 24 hours.

    Islamic separatist groups have vowed to derail the election and there is little doubt the National Conference, also a member of the federal coalition government, will retain power.

    As word of the killings spread through Srinagar, the normally bustling city of 1.2 million people grew quieter. Some shops closed, traffic was lighter and fewer people were on the streets.

    A little-known separatist group, Al-Arfeen, said it killed Dar. Al-Arfeen is one of two groups that claimed responsibility for killing Law Minister Mushtaq Lone last week. No group has claimed responsibility for Mir's death.

    Monday's first round of voting was largely peaceful with a 47 percent turnout that India hailed as a victory of the ballot over the bullet.

    But several volatile and dangerous areas are among those yet to vote over the next three Tuesdays before counting begins.

    India wants a good turnout to boost the legitimacy of its rule in the mainly Hindu nation's only Muslim-majority state where a separatist revolt has killed more than 35,000 since 1989.

    COLLEGES CLOSED

    Islamabad, which rules about a third of Kashmir, wants Kashmiris to have the chance to take part in a U.N.-administered vote to decide whether to join Pakistan or stay with India.

    India says the election is a test of Pakistan's goodwill and its pledges to stop militants crossing into Indian Kashmir.

    India also accuses Pakistan of arming and training Kashmiri separatists, a charge Islamabad denies.

    Colleges in Srinagar, the second city of Jammu and other areas due to vote in Tuesday's second round have been closed until next Wednesday, state officials said.

    The colleges will be used as polling stations and are being closed so they can be secured.

    Over the past 24 hours, Indian and Pakistani forces fired artillery and small arms across their border and six civilians, five militants and two security force personnel died in several separate incidents across the Indian state.

    SECURITY BOOSTED

    An extra 40,000 personnel have joined the 450,000 soldiers, police and paramilitary troops in the state to ensure security.

    Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee returning from the United States where he sought political support in India's battle against separatists, said he expected the turnout to increase over the remaining three voting days.

    "It is clear the people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace and are keen to live in harmony. I am confident that the number of voters will go up in the remaining phases," he said.

    But Monday's 47 percent compares with 62 percent at the last state election in 1996, despite a drop in overall violence.

    Some analysts have cautioned against reading too much into the turnout, saying a lower figure may in fact show the government is honouring its pledge that soldiers and police will not force people to vote.

    Voting was also patchy, ranging from three to five percent to 67 percent, reflecting the level of danger in particular areas.

    The nuclear-armed neighbours have massed a million men on their border since an attack on India's parliament in December that India blamed on Pakistan-based Kashmiri militants.

  2. #2
    Guest
    Two ruling party activists were gunned down in the heart of Indian Kashmir main city on Wednesday ahead of the second round of voting in a violence-racked state election.

    National Conference party workers Ali Mohammed Dar and Ghulam Rasool Mir were shot dead within hours of each other on the streets of Srinagar, the summer capital of the Himalayan state at the centre of a military stand-off between India and Pakistan.

    An opposition party worker was killed in another incident in north Kashmir overnight. They are the latest political workers to be targeted in a campaign of violence that has killed more than 450 people since early August -- 16 in the last 24 hours.

    Islamic separatist groups have vowed to derail the election and there is little doubt the National Conference, also a member of the federal coalition government, will retain power.

    As word of the killings spread through Srinagar, the normally bustling city of 1.2 million people grew quieter. Some shops closed, traffic was lighter and fewer people were on the streets.

    A little-known separatist group, Al-Arfeen, said it killed Dar. Al-Arfeen is one of two groups that claimed responsibility for killing Law Minister Mushtaq Lone last week. No group has claimed responsibility for Mir's death.

    Monday's first round of voting was largely peaceful with a 47 percent turnout that India hailed as a victory of the ballot over the bullet.

    But several volatile and dangerous areas are among those yet to vote over the next three Tuesdays before counting begins.

    India wants a good turnout to boost the legitimacy of its rule in the mainly Hindu nation's only Muslim-majority state where a separatist revolt has killed more than 35,000 since 1989.

    COLLEGES CLOSED

    Islamabad, which rules about a third of Kashmir, wants Kashmiris to have the chance to take part in a U.N.-administered vote to decide whether to join Pakistan or stay with India.

    India says the election is a test of Pakistan's goodwill and its pledges to stop militants crossing into Indian Kashmir.

    India also accuses Pakistan of arming and training Kashmiri separatists, a charge Islamabad denies.

    Colleges in Srinagar, the second city of Jammu and other areas due to vote in Tuesday's second round have been closed until next Wednesday, state officials said.

    The colleges will be used as polling stations and are being closed so they can be secured.

    Over the past 24 hours, Indian and Pakistani forces fired artillery and small arms across their border and six civilians, five militants and two security force personnel died in several separate incidents across the Indian state.

    SECURITY BOOSTED

    An extra 40,000 personnel have joined the 450,000 soldiers, police and paramilitary troops in the state to ensure security.

    Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee returning from the United States where he sought political support in India's battle against separatists, said he expected the turnout to increase over the remaining three voting days.

    "It is clear the people of Jammu and Kashmir want peace and are keen to live in harmony. I am confident that the number of voters will go up in the remaining phases," he said.

    But Monday's 47 percent compares with 62 percent at the last state election in 1996, despite a drop in overall violence.

    Some analysts have cautioned against reading too much into the turnout, saying a lower figure may in fact show the government is honouring its pledge that soldiers and police will not force people to vote.

    Voting was also patchy, ranging from three to five percent to 67 percent, reflecting the level of danger in particular areas.

    The nuclear-armed neighbours have massed a million men on their border since an attack on India's parliament in December that India blamed on Pakistan-based Kashmiri militants.

  3. #3
    Guest
    Redical islam creates trouble every where in whole world ,no other religion teaches violence.
    All followers of other religions should unite to face this problem.

  4. #4
    Guest
    Please some respect for this site, if you want to talk about a politics or something else other than immigration question, go somewhere else or to CNN.com and post it in their message board instead of putting and creating more hates in people's heart.

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