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Second day of curfew in Kashmir

Curfew in Srinagar, August 25 2008
Kashmir has seen pro-independence demonstrations in the past few months

Strict restrictions on movement are in force in Indian-administered Kashmir for a second successive day in the mainly Muslim Kashmir valley area.

The restrictions are aimed at stopping people from converging at the main mosque in the summer capital, Srinagar.

Separatist leaders were going to announce the plans regarding resistance against Indian rule at the mosque.

The valley has seen some of its biggest pro-independence demonstrations in the past few months.

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined marches organised by separatist groups opposed to Indian rule.

Boycott

The separatist groups had originally called for a march to the main mosque on Thursday, but the authorities clamped a curfew in the valley to stop it.

The chairman of the All Party Hurriyat Conference separatist group, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, remains under house arrest for the second day.

"The imposition of curfew to prevent a peaceful protest is proof enough that India does not allow the freedom of expression to anyone except the pro-India groups," he told the BBC.

The separatist groups have declared a boycott of elections to the state's law-making assembly, saying that India should instead hold a referendum to decide the state's future.

Elections in the region will be held in seven phases between 17 November and 24 December.

The separatist groups have decided to march to the headquarters of different districts of the valley on the days of polling.

Authorities have requisitioned additional police forces from neighbouring states for a smooth conduct of the poll.

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