Indian lawmakers to Kashmir to try and end unrest

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 20, 2010 06:50




SRINAGAR, India — A delegation of Indian lawmakers seeking to defuse months of deadly civil unrest in Kashmir was traveling to the Himalayan region Monday a day after three more anti-India protesters died after being hurt during increasingly violent demonstrations.

Lawmakers from all major Indian national parties were to arrive in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir's largest city, to meet Kashmiri leaders and find ways to address long-standing demands for self-rule or a merger with predominantly Muslim Pakistan.

But it was unclear how useful the delegation's mission would be after Kashmiri separatists said last week they would not meet the lawmakers, and dismissed the trip as a public relations stunt by the Indian government.

Kashmir has been rocked by widespread protests against Indian rule since June, with at least 105 people killed in clashes with security forces.

Human rights group Amnesty International has urged Indian authorities to investigate the killings and order government forces to stop the use of lethal force against demonstrators.

Thousands of armed troops patrolled the deserted streets of Srinagar and other major towns Monday and enforced a curfew for the eighth day.


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