- Title: INDIA: Shrine dispute claims two more lives
- Date: 4th August 2008
- Summary: AERIAL VIEW OF PROTEST/ PEOPLE THROWING ROCKS AT POLICE VEHICLE VARIOUS OF CLASHES BETWEEN POLICE AND DEMONSTRATORS (SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) YASHPAL KUNDAL, LAWMAKER OF JAMMU AND KASHMIR STATE ASSEMBLY, SAYING: "I condemn those who have ordered this firing. They have killed innocent people. I demand a judicial enquiry of the incident and suspension of the guilty."
- Embargoed: 19th August 2008 12:57
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Religion
- Reuters ID: LVAW42SD1LUEHBK65AEA1238TWS
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Two protesters die in Jammu and Kashmir as demonstrations over a controversial Hindu shrine turn violent.
Shops and businesses in Indian Kashmir were closed on Monday (August 4) in a protest over reported assaults on Muslims by Hindus, the latest in tit-for-tat demonstrations over the transfer of land to a Hindu shrine.
Police clashed with hundreds of stone-throwing Muslim protesters in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, who were protesting against attacks on Muslims in the neighbouring region of Jammu, police said.
The controversy over the issue of land for a Hindu trust has polarised Indian Kashmir, split between the Muslim-majority region around Kashmir valley and the Hindu-dominated region around the winter capital city of Jammu.
The Kashmir government planned to transfer land to build shelters for Hindu pilgrims visiting Amarnath, a cave shrine, to pray by a sacred ice stalagmite. Faced with huge Muslim protests, it rescinded the order, sparking Hindu demonstrations.
The controversy has sparked some of the biggest protests since a revolt against Indian rule by Muslim separatists broke out in 1989. At least six people have been killed since June in the protests.
Violence flared in the city of Samba and local politician Yashpal Kundal condemned the authorities when two demonstrators were killed, apparently by police gunfire.
"I condemn those who have ordered this firing. They have killed innocent people. I demand a judicial enquiry of the incident and suspension of the guilty," said Kundal.
Tens of thousands of people have died in the disputed Himalayan region during two decades of separatist revolt.
Authorities in Indian Kashmir extended a curfew on Monday in Jammu after violent protests over the weekend against the government by Hindus for halting the transfer of forest land.
Hindus in Jammu have been protesting over the past three weeks and the Indian army was sent to the city on Friday after two Hindu protesters were killed.
Yasin malik, leader of the secular Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, said: "I want to convey my message to the people of Jammu that they are emotionally blackmailed in the name of religion. This is nothing but an effort to divide the region in the name of religion."
At least 50 people, including 20 policemen, have been injured in clashes between Hindu protesters and police in the Jammu region, a police official said.
Hindu protesters have also stopped traffic on the region's key 300-km (185 mile) highway, the only surface link between the Kashmir valley and the rest of India.
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