NEW DELHI: Moslems mouming the death of Pakistan’s president rampaged through three Indian border towns yesterday and security forces killed four of them, news reports said.
About 100 other demonstrators who defied a curfew in Srinagar Were reported injured in clashes as they tried to bur Hindu homes, shops and temples. At least seven people were admitted to hospitals after being shot,
Soldiers also were deployed to’ quesil arson and looting in two nearby towns. Police and paramilitary forces were placed on alert in other areas along the 1,500kilometre border, officials said.
India and Pakistan have fought three wars since both gained independence from Britain in 1947. Pakistan claims Jammu and Kashmir as part of its territory, although the state was granted to India when the subcontinent was partitioned.
Many Moslems in the region Support the Pakistani claim and admired President Mohammed Zia-Ul-Hag, who put his country under Islamic law this year. He was killed on Wednesday in a plane crash.
In New Delhi, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi announced three days of national mourning as a show of respect for Gen. Zia.
He said President Ramaswamy Venkataraman will lead a large Indian delegation, including opposition leaders, the external affairs minister and other Cabinet officials, to the funeral tomorrow. It will be the first visit by an Indian president to Pakistan.
A Cabinet resolution said: “The Government and the people of India are shocked and grieved at the sudden and untimely demise of President Zia.”
The state Government of Jammu and Kashmir imposed an indefinite curfew in Srinagar after Moslem crowds tried to set fire to two bridges hours after the general’s death. Police were ordered to shoot at violators.
The crowd defied the restriction and tried to set fire to Hidnu shops, District Commissioner Shafi Pandit said. Police killed four people and wounded 100 others, he said.
Soldiers also were sent to nearby Baramulla and Anantnag after crowds tried to burn Hindu homes, shops and temples, the commissioner said.
Article extracted from this publication >> August 26, 1988