Shutdown in Kashmir to remember man executed by India

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Businesses and shops closed in many parts of Indian-controlled Kashmir on Tuesday to mark the eighth anniversary of the secret execution of a Kashmiri man in New Delhi.

Unlike in the past, no anti-India groups, which have long demanded the region’s independence or its merger with neighboring Pakistan, called for Tuesday’s strike.

Hundreds of armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear patrolled as most residents stayed indoors in the disputed region’s main city of Srinagar. Pakistan also claims the entire region and controls part of it.

Government forces at some checkpoints frisked pedestrians and searched private cars, while public transport was largely off the roads.

Many Kashmiris were incensed when Mohammed Afzal Guru was secretly hanged on Feb. 9, 2013, in a New Delhi jail on charges of involvement in a 2001 Parliament attack that killed 14 people, including five gunmen.

Guru is widely believed to have not received a fair trial, and his execution led to days of deadly anti-India protests in the Muslim-majority region, where anti-India sentiment runs deep.

Many people in the Kashmir Valley demand that Guru’s remains, currently buried within the jail compound, be returned to the region for burial.

An armed uprising since 1989 against Indian control and subsequent Indian crackdown have killed tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces.

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The day of the week has been corrected to Tuesday instead of Monday.

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