Army Called Out In Kashmir Religious Protests

2 August 2008
Agence France-Presse


Jammu: Indian soldiers were patrolling the streets in two districts of Kashmir Saturday after protesters clashed with police in a row over transfer of land in the Muslim region to Hindus. The army was deployed after more than two dozen people were injured as angry demonstrators attacked government buildings and torched a police post late Friday in Jammu, the Hindu-majority winter capital of Jammu and Kashmir state. Protesters and the local media said two people were killed in police firing, but police attributed the deaths to 'gang rivalry'. 'The army conducted a flag march in sensitive areas of Jammu city and Samba town and made announcements from public address system asking people to stay indoors,' defence spokesman S.D Goswami said. The Kashmir government's decision to provide land to a Hindu trust had sparked more than a week of rioting by furious Muslims, leaving six dead and hundreds injured. The government went back on the decision to allocate land to Hindu pilgrims, sparking the current protests in Hindu areas of the state. The state government collapsed last month after its main ally withdrew support over the issue.