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SRINAGAR, India – Shops and businesses have closed in Kashmir to protest a sweeping crackdown against activists seeking the end of Indian rule in the disputed region.
Police and paramilitary soldiers patrolled streets in the main city of Srinagar on Sunday and enforced a security lockdown in its downtown area in anticipation of protests and clashes.
The crackdown began Friday night. Police are mainly targeting Kashmir's largest political-religious group, Jama'at-e-Islami, which espouses the right to self-determination for the Himalayan region, which is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both in its entirety.
The crackdown comes amid high tensions between India and Pakistan following the Feb. 14 suicide car bombing of a paramilitary convoy by a local Kashmiri militant. Forty Indian soldiers died in the attack.