Kashmir Portal

A digital Kashmir Info Network

Female separatist detained amid Kashmir protests

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 11, 2009

SRINAGAR, India (AFP) — Police on Wednesday detained a leading female separatist for participating in protests in Indian Kashmir over the alleged rape and murder of two young Muslim women, officials said.

Asiya Andrabi, who heads Daughters of Faith, was pulled in during a raid late Tuesday in the summer capital Srinagar, a police officer said.

The death of a 17-year-old girl and her 22-year-old sister-in-law has sparked wide-spread anti-India protests in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, including Srinagar, since their bodies were found in a stream on May 30.

Indian officials say preliminary investigations suggest they had drowned, but the families of the victims have accused the security forces of abducting, raping and killing the women.

On Sunday, police said forensic tests showed they had indeed been raped.

Other separatists have either been arrested or detained in their homes. At least four of them have been shifted to different jails.

Authorities have also banned demonstrations in an attempt to curb the daily protests, which have so far claimed one life and left nearly 400 injured.

But a move by Kashmir’s chief minister Omar Abdullah to start a judicial probe into the two women’s deaths has failed to cool tempers.

On Wednesday, scores of women students held noisy demonstrations in different parts of Srinagar, chanting “we want freedom” and “blood for blood.”

The marches passed off peacefully, except at one place where police swung batons to disperse the women protesters.

An insurgency against Indian rule in Kashmir has left more than 47,000 people dead over the past 20 years.

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