Kashmiris protest planned execution of militant

September 28, 2006 12:24

Police fired tear gas Thursday to disperse dozens of rock-throwing demonstrators protesting the upcoming execution of a Kashmiri man convicted of plotting a 2001 terror attack on India's Parliament. Other protests against the execution went off peacefully. No injuries were reported after police scuffled with protesters from the pro-Pakistan faction of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Kashmir's main separatist umbrella group, in Srinagar's city center, said Farooq Ahmed, a deputy inspector-general of police. Srinagar is the capital of India's Jammu-Kashmir state. A New Delhi court has set Oct. 20 as the execution date for Mohammed Afzal, who was convicted after confessing in television interviews that he had been involved in plotting the 2001 attack that left 14 people dead and pushed India and Pakistan to the brink of war. On Thursday, hundreds of protesters from half a dozen political and separatist groups marched through the city demanding Afzal's release. On Wednesday, protesters burned tires and piles of trash and Kashmir separatist leaders warned that hanging Afzal could derail the fragile peace process between India and Pakistan aimed at settling a decades-old dispute over Kashmir.

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