South Asia

Indian PM Singh in Kashmir visit

Manmohan Singh
Image caption Mr Singh will review development projects in Kashmir

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has begun a two-day visit to Indian-administered Kashmir.

Mr Singh will review development programmes in the state and also attend a university ceremony.

Separatists in the Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley have called for a strike in protest at the visit.

Mr Singh's arrival came a day after the Indian army suspended a senior officer who is accused of killing three civilians in a staged gun battle.

The incident happened at Machhil near the Line of Control, the de facto border which separates Indian-administered Kashmir from Pakistani-administered Kashmir, in April.

Mr Singh's last trip to Kashmir in October 2008 triggered widespread demonstrations in the Kashmir Valley.

During the visit, he inaugurated a dam built in the region despite protests from Pakistan, and launched Kashmir's first train service.

Violence has declined in Kashmir in recent years, but analysts say militants opposed to Indian rule are now trying to regroup.

There has been a spate of clashes in recent months along the LoC.

Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops are based in Kashmir to fight a two decade-old insurgency against Indian rule.

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