Clashes In Kashmir During Move To Summer Capital: Army9 May 2010
Srinagar: Indian soldiers killed four suspected Muslim rebels in overnight gun battles as the Kashmir administration prepares for its annual move to the summer capital Srinagar, officials said Sunday. The militants were killed in two fierce gun battles with government forces in the southern district of Reasi and the northern district of Handwara, an army spokesman said. Four soldiers and eleven militants have died in violence in Kashmir over the past four days. It comes as the state administration makes its annual move to its summer capital Srinagar on Monday, a shift that in the past has been accompanied by rocket and grenade attacks by Muslim militants fighting Indian rule. The civil secretariat in Jammu, which serves as the winter capital between November and April, closed down in the last week of April. It takes nearly 10 days to make the move to Srinagar, with the necessary paperwork shipped 300 kilometres (186 miles) by truck under tight security. The region's police chief, Kuldeep Khoda, reviewed the security situation in Srinagar on Sunday and stressed the need to keep a close eye on militants and their accomplices 'to maintain law and order'. In addition to militant attacks, parts of Kashmir have been rocked by protests in recent weeks. Security officials have warned of a possible escalation in violence after the Indian military said last month that 400 militants were poised to cross into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani zone of the disputed Himalayan region. The insurgency against Indian rule has left more than 47,000 people dead since it erupted in 1989, according to an official count. Violence dropped after India and Pakistan launched a peace process in 2004 but 2010 has again seen an escalation in rebel attacks.