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Tuesday, 5 September, 2000, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Kashmir census to continue
Burnt house
The militants say many have fled the violence
The authorities in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir are to go ahead with the second phase of a controversial population census - despite a threat from a major militant group to halt it.

"The second phase of the census in the state will commence from 11 September and will be completed by 30 September this year," an official statement issued in the capital, Srinagar said.


All is set for taking up the census work on 11 September

Official statement

The Hizbul Mujahedin militant group said the count would miss thousands of people who had fled, migrated or were imprisoned or in hiding as a result of the decade-long campaign of violence against Indian rule.

The group ended a brief cease-fire with Indian forces last month after an attempt to get talks going on the future of the disputed territory broke down.

Head count

The decision to continue with the census was taken after a high-level meeting of state government officials.

A statement said: "The meeting expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made for the successful conduct of operation. The enumerators have already been trained and all is set for taking up the census work on 11 September."

Soldier frisking
A soldier frisks a civilian in the state where tension has been running high
The first phase of the census began in May this year, with the deployment of more than 20,000 government workers across the state.

The second phase involves a head count of families in houses and properties already listed in the first phase.

A census is conducted in India every 10 years - the last one was in 1991.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was left out due to separatist violence.

Tension has been high in the state in recent weeks after the breakdown of the militants' ceasefire amid accusations by India that Pakistan is stoking violence.

Shelling

The Indian authorities said on Tuesday that five civilians had been injured and some houses damaged by Pakistani shelling across the Line of Control in the previous 24 hours.

The firing took place in the Karnah and Uri sectors.

In another incident, five Indian paramilitary troops were injured in a grenade attack by militants in Srinagar on Tuesday morning.

The Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen militant group claimed responsibility for the attack.

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See also:

21 Aug 00 | South Asia
Kashmir talks 'may resume soon'
08 Aug 00 | South Asia
Kashmir ceasefire called off
16 May 00 | South Asia
Kashmir census begins
15 Jul 99 | South Asia
Flashpoint Kashmir: Special Report
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