Indian legislators meet separatists in Indian-controlled Kashmir

08:37, September 21, 2010      

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Groups of Indian legislators, part of the visiting all-party- delegation to Indian-controlled Kashmir, Monday called on separatist leaders at their residences, officials said.

Sources said the decision to send the individual groups to meet separatists was taken following the realization by the all-party- delegation that separatist will not turn up to meet them.

Separatists, both moderates and hardliners, had earlier rejected to meet the high-level delegation of around 40 Indian legislators that arrived Srinagar, the region's summer capital Monday morning.

The delegation, led by Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram, is on a two-day visit to the region to understand the "ground realities" underneath the deadly summer unrest that saw 108 civilian killings during massive anti-India protests.

A five-member delegation led by Sitaram Yechury, a Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, visited the hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who is heading the "Quit Kashmir movement" in the region.

Geelani allowed the group to his residence and told them normalcy will be restored after New Delhi accepts Kashmir as an international dispute, starts demilitarization of the region and releases political prisoners.

"Mr. Geelani has a stand on Kashmir and so has Indian government. We came here to know what he is saying and would be conveying it to the government of India," said Sitaram Yechury.

Similar delegations later on called moderates Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation front Mohammed Yasin Malik.

"We want all the three principal parties India, Pakistan and Kashmiris should be engaged to find a lasting solution to this problem," Mirwaiz told the visiting group in front of media.

Meanwhile, police said five people were wounded Monday after police and paramilitary troopers fired on protesters in Bomai- Sopore, 53 km northwest of Srinagar city.

The demonstrations with shouting slogans "blood for Blood!" and "Go India Go Back!" broke out in protest of the killing of a 22- year-old Mubeena Akther by Indian paramilitary troopers on Sunday evening.

Police said the woman was shot while they were trying to deal with the stone pelters. However, Firdous Ahmed Wani, the victim's brother, said his sister was not part of the demonstration and was shot without any provocation.

Source: Xinhua


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