Street violence hits Indian Kashmir for 3rd summer

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“The pervasive presence is that of the military and paramilitary, whose xenophobic and forceful infiltration into every aspect of economic and civic life is palpable,” said Angana Chatterji, an anthropologist at San Francisco’s California Institute of Integral Studies.

The insurgency has largely been replaced by street demonstrations, which gained traction in the summer of 2008, when residents protested the transfer of 100 acres (40 hectares) of land to a Hindu shrine in the Kashmir Himalayas. Public pressure forced the government to revoke the plan, which Kashmiris saw as an attempt to affect a demographic change in the only Muslim-majority region in India.

But the protests soon morphed into some of the biggest demonstrations against Indian rule since the early years of the 1989 uprising, and brought tens of thousands into the streets. Indian authorities launched a harsh crackdown that killed more than 60 protesters and wounded hundreds.

Last summer, protests broke out again after the alleged rape and murder of two young women by men in uniform. A federal investigation later said they weren’t raped and died from drowning.

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