June 2004 News

Kashmir Gunmen Slit Throats Of Engineer, Brother

25 June 2004

Srinagar: Suspected Kashmiri militants killed an engineer working for India's state-run railway and his brother by slitting their throats after holding them hostage for two days, police said on Friday. The gruesome murders came two days before top diplomats from India and Pakistan are due to meet in New Delhi for talks on the Kashmir dispute, at the heart of half a century of enmity between the nuclear-armed neighbors. Sudhir Kumar, working with Indian railway firm IRCON, his brother and two other men were abducted by gunmen while traveling in a car on Wednesday in Pulwama district, south of Srinagar, Kashmir's main city. 'The body of Sudhir Kumar and his brother with their throats slit were found in a Pulwama village,' a police spokesman said. Police accused Muslim rebels of the abduction and killing but said the motive was not clear. No militant group has claimed responsibility. The two men kidnapped along with Kumar and his brother were released unharmed later on Wednesday, police said. They were Muslim. Kumar and his brother were Hindu, police said. Authorities say violence in Indian Kashmir has steadily dropped since India and Pakistan, who have fought two wars over the Himalayan region, began a peace process last year. But on average a half a dozen people are killed every day in shootouts and explosions in the Muslim-majority region where a separatist revolt against Indian rule began in 1989. Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan will begin talks on Sunday, the first over Kashmir since a failed summit between Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in mid-2001.


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