SRINAGAR, July 7 (2010):Authorities deployed the army in Kashmir’s summer capital for the first time in nearly two decades on Wednesday to quell huge anti-India protests that have killed 15 people and threaten to destabilise the region.
The soldiers were called in after police failed to control weeks of street protests in a disputed region whose peace is crucial for relations between India and Pakistan. Most of the deaths were in police firing.
While locals say the protests are spontaneous, the Indian government has blamed Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based militant group accused of carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks, for being behind the latest protests.
The demonstrations are the biggest since 2008 when violent anti-India protests killed about 40 people.
“The Indian government doesn’t want a repeat of what happened in 2008 when it was deeply embarrassed, which is why they have called in the army to damage-control early on,” said Noor Ahmad Baba, dean of social science at Kashmir University.
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