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Incarcerated separatists urge public march over loss of autonomy

SRINAGAR: Separatist leaders in Indian Kashmir have urged people to defy a ban and join a mass march after Friday prayers this week, the first such call since the federal government revoked the region’s autonomy, stirring anger in the region and beyond. Hundreds of political leaders and activists, many of them separatists seeking Kashmir’s secession from India, have been incarcerated and the appeal to the public came through posters that appeared overnight in the region’s main city of Srinagar.
“Every person, young and old, men and women, should march after Friday prayers,” the Joint Resistance Leadership, which represents all major separatist groups, said on one poster.
The public must march to the office of the UN Military Observer group in Srinagar, which was set up in 1949 after the first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. One of the posters said the federal government planned to change the demographics of Kashmir by flooding it with outsiders and urged clerics to speak about these fears during their sermons on Friday. (Reuters)

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