India to try ‘new strategy’ to pacify occupied Kashmir

Indian security forces said they have drawn up a new plan to tackle deadly unrest in occupied Kashmir amid criticism of the government on Thursday over its handling of the crisis.

The army, police and paramilitary forces said on Wednesday they had formulated a “joint strategy” to restore peace in the disputed Himalayan region where scores of anti-India protesters have been shot dead.

“The meeting discussed the measures to effectively counter the protest calendar,” a statement by the military said, referring to a list of demonstrations set by separatists in the region.

No details were given about the strategy, which is to be implemented immediately.

The death toll from three months of unrest rose to 94 on Thursday after the cousin of top pro-freedom leader Yasin Malik, who was injured in a clash last month, died in hospital, Malik’s spokesman told AFP.

In New Delhi, the government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh faced criticism from some commentators after a five-hour crisis meeting between political leaders held in the capital on Wednesday.

The meeting broke up with a decision to send a fact-finding mission to the Muslim-majority area.

All major towns in occupied Kashmir remained under curfew on Thursday for the fifth day. There was no report of any violence during the night from any part of the region, police said.