Saturday, August 14, 2010

Indian Forces Face Broader Revolt in Kashmir

Aabid Nabi, right, sat next to his brother Fida Nabi, who was shot in the head during a protest, in a hospital in Srinagar. Mr. Nabi later died from his injury. More Photos »

By LYDIA POLGREEN, New York Times, Aug 12, 2010

Mr. Nabi was the 50th person to die in Kashmir’s bloody summer of rage. He had been shot in the head, his family and witnesses said, during a protest against India’s military presence in this disputed province.

For decades, India maintained hundreds of thousands of security forces in Kashmir to fight an insurgency sponsored by Pakistan, which claims this border region, too. The insurgency has been largely vanquished. But those Indian forces are still here, and today they face a threat potentially more dangerous to the world’s largest democracy: an intifada-like popular revolt against the Indian military presence that includes not just stone-throwing young men but their sisters, mothers, uncles and grandparents.

The protests, which have erupted for a third straight summer, have led India to one of its most serious internal crises in recent memory. Not just because of their ferocity and persistence, but because they signal the failure of decades of efforts to win the assent of Kashmiris using just about any tool available: money, elections and overwhelming force.

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