Most of Kashmir shut for 3rd day over shrine fire

June 27, 2012 2:16:49 AM PDT
Shops and businesses are closed for a third straight day across much of Indian-controlled Kashmir as residents protest the fiery destruction of a 200-year-old Muslim shrine.

Thousands of government forces are patrolling streets in the disputed Himalayan region and have ordered residents to stay indoors in parts of the main city of Srinagar.

No separatist group had called for a shutdown Wednesday, but public buses and taxis have stayed off the roads. Schools and most stores remained shuttered.

Indian Kashmir police Chief Rajendra Kumar says the patrols and curfews are intended to prevent anti-India demonstrations.

The blaze that destroyed the shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani in Srinagar on Monday sparked angry protests by thousands demanding Kashmir's freedom from Indian rule.

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