Two thirds in Indian Kashmir want independence: poll

The poll, conducted for Sunday Hindustan Times, showed that 66 per cent of respondents wanted complete independence.

Afp September 12, 2010
Two thirds in Indian Kashmir want independence: poll

NEW DELHI: About two thirds of residents in India Kashmir want independence for their region, with less than one in ten seeking a merger with Pakistan, a survey showed Sunday.

The poll, conducted for the Sunday Hindustan Times newspaper, showed that 66 per cent of respondents in the Kashmir valley wanted “complete freedom to entire Jammu and Kashmir as a new country.”

Only six per cent in Kashmir wanted a “complete merger of the entire Jammu and Kashmir in Pakistan.”

The desire for independence for the state is not shared in the Jammu and Ladakh parts however, where 76 per cent and 70 per cent wanted a “complete merger” of the state into India.

Respondents were also asked who was to blame for a current wave of unrest in the Kashmir area where young stone-throwers have clashed with security forces for the last three months.

Seventy protesters and bystanders, some children, have been killed, mostly by security forces who have fired on demonstrations.

In Kashmir, 56 per cent blamed India for the unrest, while 44 per cent of those asked in the "rest of India" thought Pakistan was responsible for stirring up trouble.

Majorities in all areas concurred that Indian forces should not use bullets against protesters, with 96 per cent saying it was wrong in Kashmir, and 85 per cent in the rest of India.

Two thirds thought it was wrong in Jammu, while 31 per cent said it was acceptable.

The poll was conducted by Team CVoter and canvassed 2,369 people.

Curfew in Kashmir

On Sunday, Indian security forces enforced a strict curfew in much of Kashmir, after protests erupted on the first day of Eid.

Thousands, including women and children, marched through the city and held demonstrations at its historic business centre.

Protesters hoisted green Islamic and Pakistani flags atop a clock tower and later police blamed them for setting fire to a government building that housed the offices of the force's crime branch and power development department.

Separatists, who led Saturday's protests, blamed "anti-movement elements" for setting fire to the building and called for a probe into the arson.

Police said they had imposed a curfew on Sunday to prevent further violence.


Deb D | 13 years ago | Reply Hi Folks!! I would like to say, that please ask the government to give some aids instead of rigid curfew.If you will try to pinch a bleeding with a rusted blade it can become septic, which may result in future amputation.We as the people of India should all together send the message to Kasmiris that we are with them and we accept them with love and care. They are angry with the nation no probs!!... we can win there support as a nation not as an individual. If our countrymen take initiatives that whole nation stand up and say Kasmiris are our bro n sis and we can't stay apart from them.I think they will understand.If we together send hand written mails to kasmirians that we are with them. Because our whole nation is like family if some one gets angry its our duty to console them with love. Thanks & Regards, Deb
SKChadha | 13 years ago | Reply @ Isfand – Bro, in democracy people have right to express their anger and if such anger is out of some genuine hardship, it is the duty of every state to address it. Sometimes, the cause of anger is not what is visible on surface. It is at the first instance, duty of the J&K government and its polity to address it. The loss of lives of normal citizens is inhuman and the cause of it is to be realized by main stream polity. It is our government and we have to pull the strings to bring it on right path. Same is the case with normal citizenry. It is for them also to realize how they can make their representatives accountable. The young lives are not to waste, but to canalized them for their own development and for the development of the society. I hope better sense will prevail on the elected representatives to douse the fire. I have little hope from the saparatists as their agenda is different and guided either by wrong notions or from somewhere else. Inshah Allah, J&K will flourish for happiness of all.
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