SRINAGAR: Unidentified gunmen Sunday shot dead a trade union leader affiliated to the ruling party in Indian Kashmir, police said. Ghulam Nabi Khan, 45, was killed in Sopore, a town 50 kilometres north of the Kashmiri summer capital Srinagar, a police statement said.
Hundreds of mourners later joined Khan’s funeral, chanting slogans such as “Long live Islam” and “Allah is great.” Khan was the head of traders’ federation in Sopore and a local leader of the region’s ruling National Conference. Security officials have warned of a possible escalation in violence during summer months after reports that number of militants were poised to cross into Indian Kashmir from the Pakistani zone of the disputed Himalayan region.
The insurgency against Indian rule in the region has left more than 47,000 people dead by official count since it erupted in 1989. Violence dropped after India and Pakistan launched a peace process in 2004 but rebel attacks have escalated since the start of this year.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 24th, 2010.