Shoe hurled at Omar Abdullah during I-Day speech in Srinagar | india | Hindustan Times
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Shoe hurled at Omar Abdullah during I-Day speech in Srinagar

india Updated: Aug 15, 2010 11:41 IST
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A shoe was thrown at Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah during Independence Day speech. The CM played down the incident and in a lighter tone welcomed it saying he would be happy if people instead of pelting stones, threw shoes.

The shoe, which was thrown by a former policeman, missed the target. The man was taken into custody.

Omar Abdullah joins Home Minister P Chidambaram, Pakistan President Zardari, former US President George W Bush and Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in facing shoe attack.

Meanwhile, thousands of protestors on Sunday demonstrated in Kashmir after security forces shot dead six protesters in two days and beefed up security for Independence day.

Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir valley have recently been rocked by some of the biggest pro-independence protests in two years.

On Friday and Saturday, troops said they shot dead six protesters and bystanders during violent protests by rock-throwing Kashmiris. Residents accused the security forces of opening fire on peaceful demonstrators.

One of the young men killed on Saturday was from Anantnag, where thousands of residents - men, women and children alike - held noisy night-long demonstrations, witnesses said.

Night protests were also held in Narabal locality, on the outskirts of Srinagar, where a young man was also shot dead Saturday by security forces.

Police said security forces fired in retaliation after someone from the crowd shot at the troops with a hunting gun, but residents accused them of a "cover-up".

Critics say the security forces resort to live ammunition because they are poorly trained and unable to handle the unruly crowds.

Kashmir Governor N N Vohra has urged the security forces to "revisit their strategies and tactics of crowd control for securing maximum protection of human life."

The recent surge in protests, which began when a teenage student was killed by a police tear gas shell on June 11 in Srinagar, has brought Kashmir's towns and cities to a standstill.

Security forces have been accused of killing 57 protesters and bystanders in the past two months and most of the victims have been young men and teenagers.