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Separatists Temporarily Suspend Protests in Indian Kashmir བོད་སྐད།


Muslim separatists leaders have called for three days of calm in Indian-controlled Kashmir, after violent protests killed at least 22 and wounded hundreds of others last week.

Schools and businesses were re-opened Tuesday, with the announcement that protests were temporarily suspended. People crowded the markets to buy food and other supplies, after weeks of unrest in the Himalayan region.

The violence was triggered by the state's government's June decision to donate land to a Hindu shrine. Muslims held mass demonstrations, forcing the government to revoke the transfer. That decision angered Hindus, who began protesting last week -- blocking a major highway in the Kashmir valley.

Separatist leaders today said the public needs a break from the daily demonstrations, and that protests would resume on Friday.

Meanwhile, women in the predominantly-Hindu city of Jammu Tuesday marched to police stations, demanding land be restored to the Hindu shrine. Today was the second day of the three-day campaign by Hindus.

On Monday, Muslim protesters delivered a petition to the United Nations office in Kashmir, calling on the U.N. to recognize the region's right to self-determination, and an end to India's rule.

Kashmir is divided between Pakistan and India, and claimed by both. The dispute has led to two of three wars between the two nuclear-armed rivals. Islamic separatists have been fighting for Kashmir's independence from India, or for the region's merger with Muslim-dominated Pakistan.

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