Kashmir shuts down to mark death anniversary of leader

Kashmir shuts down to mark death anniversary of leader

Maqbool Butt was hanged by Indian authorities in 1984

By Zahid Rafiq

SRINAGAR, Jammu Kashmir (AA) - A complete shutdown was witnessed on Sunday in Jammu Kashmir to mark the hanging of pro-independence leader Mohammad Maqbool Butt by Indian authorities in 1984.

Despite curfew-like restrictions in response to the shutdown called for by the region's pro-independence leaders, there were reports of protests and clashes in some areas.

Top pro-independence leaders were placed under house arrest to prevent them from leading marches or demonstrations.

Maqbool Butt, seen in Kashmir as a symbol of independence against the Indian rule, was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar prison by Indian authorities.

He was buried in the prison premises and his remains were not returned to his family.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Also in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict since 1989. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.

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