Page last updated at 08:11 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 09:11 UK

Curfew still in force in Kashmir

By Damian Grammaticas
BBC News, Delhi

Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers stand alert as they enforce curfew restrictions in Srinagar on 24 August, 2008
Authorities are struggling to quell the protests by Hindus and Muslims

Many parts of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir are still under curfew as authorities try to halt huge protests by both Muslim separatists and Hindus.

Indian police are still holding separatist leaders who were arrested on Sunday and Monday after they defied the curfew and attempted to lead protests.

Five people have been shot dead while trying to protest in the past two days.

The restive Himalayan state is seeing some of the biggest protests against Indian rule in at least 20 years.

In the Kashmiri city of Srinagar, the streets are deserted.

Armoured cars are on patrol and there are road blocks on all key routes in the city.

Three senior political leaders of pro-separatist parties are under arrest to prevent them leading street protests.

Meanwhile, a curfew is also in force in some of the Hindu majority areas around the city of Jammu as Hindus have also been staging their own demonstrations in recent months.

In the past two weeks, at least 27 people have been shot dead and 500 injured, as security forces try to restore order in the Muslim majority area.

The Indian authorities are struggling to halt the demonstrations, which were sparked by a dispute between Hindus and Muslims over whether land should be given to a major Hindu shrine in Kashmir.

But it has now spiralled into the most serious crisis in Kashmir in years.

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