Protests in Indian Kashmir After Alleged Rape by Soldiers

Posted July 22nd, 2011 at 9:35 am (UTC-5)
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Protests have erupted in Indian-controlled Kashmir after a woman claimed she was abducted and raped by two soldiers in the disputed region.

The hundreds of participants in Friday's demonstrations shouted anti-India slogans and called for the arrest of the Indian army personnel.

The woman told police that the men abducted her Tuesday, held her in a hut for two days and raped her repeatedly.

An Indian army official said the military is helping with the police probe of the incident, as well as conducting its own investigation. But he suggested soldiers may not have been responsible, saying terrorists also wear combat uniforms sometimes.

Human rights groups have accused Indian security forces of extrajudicial killings and other rights abuses in Kashmir.

The Himalayan region is divided between India and Pakistan, but claimed in full by both. Muslim separatists have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from Hindu-majority India or a merger with Muslim-majority Pakistan. Thousands have been killed in the insurgency.