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Hundreds protest abuses in Kashmir

Hundreds of Kashmiris have staged demonstrations in Indian-administered Kashmir to protest against the mass human rights abuses in the disputed Himalayan valley.

Demonstrations were held in Srinagar and several other major towns on Thursday to protest against human rights violations by Indian troops.

The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons (APDP) says nearly 10,000 persons have gone missing after being arrested allegedly by Indian troops over the past years.

Reports say Indian police have raided the homes and arrested dozens of activists in Kashmir’s major towns in recent months.

Police claim they were allegedly involved in pro-freedom and stone-pelting protests against Indian paramilitary forces across the predominantly Muslim region.

The violence has claimed the lives of at least 110 people, as the deaths have triggered widespread protests.

The Kashmir valley has either been under curfew or shut down over the past four months. Residents have been complaining about the shortage of food, medicine and other supplies across the valley.

Roughly, half-a-million Indian forces are stationed across Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram has acknowledged for the first time that a political solution to Kashmir issue was needed to restore peace in the troubled South Asian region

“The home minister asserted that the Kashmir issue is a political issue for which a political solution must be found,” a government statement quoted Home Minister as saying.

Several regional and international rights groups, including Amnesty International, have called on India to take immediate steps to protect and respect human rights in Kashmir.

Thousands have been killed in volatile Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989.

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