Indian railways suspends operations in Kashmir
Indian Railways suspended its operations in the Kashmir valley indefinitely after mobs torched stations and damaged tracks, news reports said Wednesday, dpa reported.
Rampaging protestors burned stations in the Sopore and Budgam districts and threatened railway employees, IANS news agency.
More than 100 non-Kashmiri employees were moved out of the valley that has seen six weeks of escalating protests over the killing of civilians by security forces, an official said.
"The (railway) authorities felt that the employees had strong reasons to feel unsafe and it was decided that the operations be suspended indefinitely in Kashmir," IANS quoted another railway official as saying on condition of anonymity.
"In the given situation, it's impossible for us to run our operations in Kashmir," he said. Operations would be resumed after normalcy returned.
The death toll in the latest clashes has crossed 40.
Authorities claim most of the civilians were killed when police fired to disperse mobs who attacked government property.
Anti-India sentiments are strong in the valley and protestors often clash with the thousands of security forces present in the region to combat militancy.
The Kashmir region is divided into two parts, one administered by India and the other by Pakistan.
The Indian section has seen a violent secessionist militant movement in recent decades.