Jim Yardley in Srinagar

From New York Times: “Indians struggle to break deadlock in Kashmir

“The Indian members of Parliament left their shoes on the floor beneath a wall covered in photographs of slain Kashmiris. The five men sat cross-legged on the floor of the headquarters of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, staring into a scrum of television cameras as they delivered a carefully scripted message of reconciliation.

“We have come to get your counsel,” said Ram Vilas Paswan, a member of Parliament, turning to the leader of the Liberation Front, a former guerrilla fighter named Yasim Malik. “What is the way out? What is the way to stop the bloodshed?”

For more than 100 days, in which Indian security officers have killed more than 100 Kashmiri civilians, the Indian government has seemed paralyzed, or even indifferent, as this disputed Himalayan region has plunged into one of the gravest crises of its tortured history.”

India often views Kashmir through its rivalry with Pakistan, with both countries controlling portions of the region and each claiming its entirety. Yet Indian officials concede that this latest unrest is different, a domestic Kashmiri revolt against Indian rule, unlike past insurgencies sponsored by Pakistan.”

When delegation members visited the hospital, they were jeered, according the news reports.

The delegation’s procession of white Ambassador sedans passed along empty streets and shuttered shops, with officers posted every few hundred meters with machine guns. If the delegation had come to reach out to Kashmir, it was extending its hand through barbed wire.

local journalists say state officials blocked distribution of newspapers and banned several local television channels from providing news coverage after they broadcast video of the funeral processions of protesters or of officers firing on crowds. One person said electricity and water was shut off in his entire neighborhood because some people had thrown stones.

“Why would we trust them?” said one man who had slipped out Sunday evening, despite the curfew. “There is no reason to trust India. There is a huge trust deficit. The press is seized. The people are caged.”


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