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Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children

  • The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.
  • How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)
  • 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight
  • Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?
  • “While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger.
  • About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child.

US media have never called millions killed in their own homes, by US military during invasions and occupations since Korea through Iraq, mass murder. Likewise, the annually legislated starvation of millions of Indians in the ‘largest democracy in the world’, is never called mass murder. India buys WMD, with money saved, seeks to use the market to solve the problem. NY Times fields a question, “Should Food be a Right?

CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, PBS, the New York Times and the Washington Post have never called the millions killed by U.S. military in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, along with the thousands in the Dominican Republic, Afghanistan, Iraq, and the hundreds in Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Grenada, Somalia and Yemen, mass-murder. The monolithic, Pentagon-fed, conglomerate owned U.S. media has presented each one of these invasions as just, and, as a way of excusing the killing, reminded us that ‘war is war.’

However, war was never declared during any of these death bringing activities. They were called “police actions,” ‘peace keeping’ or ‘protective’ military interventions. In every case, initially, Congress carefully avoided calling any of these invasions a war.

Shooting people dead in their very own country, more often than not, in their very own residences is simply mass-murder, whether justified as anti-communism, anti-terrorism or the protection of capital investments. One doesn’t have to be Einstein himself to see this clearly.

Likewise, U.S. corporate commercial mass-media, would never call India’s consistent, year after year, intentional allowing of millions of its citizens to die of starvation, mass-murder. India is always described as the world’s largest democracy, and media and U.S. politicians make a show of proudly promoting support for democracy. everywhere. So, no criticism of India, corporate ally of U.S. imperialism and globalization – certainly no charge of homicidal crime for its annual starvation of millions of its citizens.

But, in jurisprudence, when a parent is arraigned in court for having intentionally caused the starvation death of a child, the charge is murder. If a homicidal crime is judged to have been caused by unpremeditated neglect, the charge will be reduced from murder to manslaughter. In the case of India, the officials of the Indian government have witnessed millions of its citizens dying of year after year in photographs, video, testimony and detailed written material from annual government investigations, as they approved legislation that assured its continuance.

UN statistics over decades have shown no improvement in reducing this horrendous and painful death toll, and often, even recently, a worsening of the amount of its citizens dying for having been denied food has been documented. Yet year after year this mass death goes on being legislated.

The half-billion Indians who are nourished, and the millions that are over-nourished go about their lives and occupations in full knowledge and awareness of this mass death, though distracted by India’s commercial media’s entertainments, advertising to consume, dramatization of religious conflict and promoted fear of neighboring nations.

UN statistics show death by starvation or from malnutrition caused diseases for two million of India’s children under the age of five every year. How many millions more over the age of five and how many of their parents perish is perhaps best illustrated by this month’s UN report that one third of the world’s starving ‘live’ in India. (India’s population is 1,150,000, 000, billion, one third would be 38,000,000.)

That same New York Times that regularly nicknames India ‘the world’s largest democracy’ got around to feature a horrific side of India’s particular type of formal democracy with pathetic photo of a mother sitting next to her starving child on the front page of its August 8, 2010 edition.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/world/asia/09food.html?th&emc=th

India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? by Lynsey Addario

“JHABUA, India — Inside the drab district hospital, where dogs patter down the corridors, sniffing for food, Ratan Bhuria’s children are curled together in the malnutrition ward, hovering at the edge of starvation. His daughter, Nani, is 4 and weighs 20 pounds. His son, Jogdiya, is 2 and weighs only eight.

Jogdiya, 2, lay with an intravenous drip in the Jhabua District Government Hospital as his father, Ratan Bhuria, looked after him and his 4-year-old sister. [More Photos]

Landless and illiterate, drowned by debt, Mr. Bhuria and his ailing children have staggered into the hospital ward after falling through India’s social safety net. They should receive subsidized government food and cooking fuel. They do not. The older children should be enrolled in school and receiving a free daily lunch. They are not. And they are hardly alone: India’s eight poorest states have more people in poverty — an estimated 421 million — than Africa’s 26 poorest nations, one study recently reported.”
.
The best part of the article is where the talk turns to making money from feeding the starving as an incentive. (Financial gain being a preferred motive if not common provision within capitalist economics,)

“The question is whether there is a role for the market in the delivery of social programs,” said Bharat Ramaswami, a rural economist at the Indian Statistical Institute. “This is a big issue: Can you harness the market?”

There follows shocking and massive incriminating evidence of simple cruel murder of the poor, victims of the controlling private investment banking and its police enforcement inherent in a government of, by and for conscienceless free enterprise:

“India vanquished food shortages during the 1960s with the Green Revolution, which introduced high-yield grains and fertilizers and expanded irrigation, and the country has had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies during the past decade. But its poverty and hunger indexes remain dismal, with roughly 42 percent of all Indian children under the age of 5 being underweight.”

The New York Times and all U.S. media, while didactically supporting parliamentary democracy in capitalist economies while excusing the amoral byproducts of business priorities and exploitation of class division, have always jumped to designate as mass murder any loss of life caused in revolutions against the world ruling imperial system, caused precisely by desperation to feed hungry children.

For example, the killing during the bloody civil war in Russia created by the invasion of armed forces from fourteen nations and the immense starvation in its aftermath are attributed to communism. Allied invasions (two American armies among them) were meant to overthrow the Bolshevik led fledgling Soviet Union, a new popular government come to power peacefully by consensus in the bloodless October Revolution. (“Bolshevik’ means ‘majority’). But the invader nations are not accussed of mass murdering.

Many of the various efforts of the Mao Zetong led revolution to prevent the starvation of millions under the foreign banking backed government of Chiang Kai-shek are still characterized in capitalist media as mass murder. In other words, starvation is only murder if it happens under communist and anti-imperialist rule. The earlier horrendous starvation that precipitated revolution is never referred to as mass murder.

U.S. media can have it anyway they want it, but millions dying of starvation, as they have been for so many years, under the formal (or pseudo) democracy of huge India cannot be excused as unintended, or accidental or attributed to merciless forces of Nature. No! Nature has provided the wherewithal in resources for there to be no starving. These resources have been stolen from these people, to make money and buy things other than food, as indicated in the OEN published article August of last:

http://www.opednews.com/populum/page.php?p=1&f=Should-Indians-Who-Spend–by-Jay-Janson-090806-253.html

Should Indian Leaders Who Spend Billions on Submarines While Others Starve Go Unpunished?

– synopsis:
“While 2 million children die of malnutrition and starvation, India builds and buys submarines at the cost of this pathetic death and the stunted development of over 40% of its children who along with their parents suffer hunger. Lets help bring public awareness to bear on this homicidal horror of misplaced values by India’s political leaders. We speak up to save the children.”

In New York, when Prime Manmohan Singh was to address the UN General Assembly, a petition was circulated by the The Riverside Church Global Justice and Peace Ministry and the All Souls Unitarian Church Peace Task Force:

“Riverside Global Justice and Peace Ministries Endorsed Event

Petition

India Prime Minister Mammohan Singh Please!

SAVE MILLIONS OF CHILDREN DYING OF STARVATION & ALNUTRITION while
$BILLIONS for NUCLEAR SUBMARINES are being spent

Indian Prime Minister Mammohan Singh launched a 3 billion dollar nuclear submarine. A sub that can carry Russian built missiles equipped to deliver India’s Atomic bombs. A submarine made at the cost of taking bread from the mouths and life from the chests of Prime Minister Singh’s fellow citizens. Both the cost of building nuclear submarines, and the purchasing of others, are paid for with funds drawn on the treasury of a “democracy’ that does not feed its children.

Singh’s India is a gigantic torture chamber for the 47% of its children under five who suffer malnutrition. [47% is a World Bank estimate] Malnutrition makes children prone to illness and stunts their physical and intellectual growth for a lifetime, with dire consequences for mobility and mortality. Its also torture for the parents who watch in agony as 2.1 million of their kids die before their fifth birthday from malnutrition and preventable illnesses. [UN estimate from Malnutrition in India, Wikipedia]

As Indian Growth Soars, Child Hunger Persists by Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 3/12/2009

“NEW DELHI “Small, sick, listless children have long been India’s scourge “a national shame,” in the words of its prime minister, Manmohan Singh. after a decade of galloping economic growth, child malnutrition rates are worse …” Seems by the Prime Minister’s own admission, his wife breaking the bottle of champagne on the bow of this incredible investment last month becomes a hideous spectacle of death over life.

Akshay Mangla in Delhi complains that the pathetic state of child health and education in India should be seen as no less than a total failure of its democracy, public institutions and civil society.

Malnutrition getting worse in India by Damian Grammaticas, BBC News, Madhya Pradesh

“About 60% children in Madhya Pradesh state are malnourished. Lying on a bed is a tiny malnourished child. Her limbs wasted, her stomach bloated, her hair thinning and falling out. She stares, wide-eyed, blankly at the ceiling. Roshni is six months old. She should weigh 4.5kg. But when she is placed on a set of scales they settle at just 2.9kg.

BBC News, 7/26/09 India launches nuclear submarine. “… a second one is due to be constructed shortly. Pravda, Russia, 20.08.2008 “India places two-billion-dollar order for Russian missiles ” made for submarines of the Indian Navy. The nearest order is seven submarines.” Manasi Kakatkar, ForeignPolicyBlogs.com, “”India getting two Akula class nuclear powered attack submarines from Russia, and six Scorpene submarines from France”

With its attention getting front page article India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? featuring a photo unbearable to look at, the New York Times has broadened responsibility for this ultimate inhumanity to include its readers outside India.”

Starvation on a planet where obesity is a growing problem is grotesque commentary on the indifferent heartlessness of otherwise decent people in the desperate, and sometimes savage, commodified and commercialized society most of us have accepted as necessary. But when staring at the photo of one dying child among millions, few of us escape seeing something of ourselves or our own children in that expiring life pictured in the newspaper.

Jay Janson is archival research peoples historian activist, musician and writer, who has lived and worked on all the continents and whose articles on media have been published in China, Italy, England and the US. He now resides in New York City
. Superpower Democracy Mass-Murders Abroad! Largest Democracy Mass-murders Its Own Children By jay janson, 14 August, 2010, Countercurrents.org

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/09/world/asia/09food.html?th&emc=th

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Evidence of Trouble in India

August 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Evidence of Trouble in India

After ruthless and indiscriminate attacks on the security forces and police stations, it is would not be wrong to infer that the followers of the Mao’s movement are rapidly increasing. According to a recent study, Naxalite groups are busy extending their influence, with rough estimates about their strength suggesting a number running into tens of millions. Recent incidents such as attacks on police stations in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, and the storming on the house of a Congress leader A.S. Gautam, in Dantewada, suggests that this revolutionary struggle is now getting out of hand.

Whilst the Indian security forces have increased their efforts to crack down on the revolutionaries, little if any attention has been giving to ascertaining the causes behind the rapid rise in the popularity of the movement. While India has always tried to shift all the blame concerning terrorism on Pakistan, it has conveniently ignored the factors which are helping spawn the menace within its own boundaries. The deprived and discriminated masses, which form about 40 to 50 percent of the population, are subject to poor governance and social injustice. A close analysis of the situation on the ground renders the old argument about infiltration from the Pakistani side, an old cliché; without any rhyme or reason.

The Indian region is a unique example in the world as the region that continues to be in a perpetual state of war. The cut-throat political vendetta between warlords (both local and outsiders), clashes of egos, simmering religious and sectarian tensions are compounded by the complex linguistic and literary developments, all of which have led to the proliferation of a suicidal culture during the last three millennia.

In hindsight, it is obvious that most of the efforts launched by Delhi to bring a lasting “peace” in India have proved to be unsuccessful. Despite the claims of a miracle economic growth and the world’s largest democracy, issues such as racial apartheid, expansionism and hegemonic muscle-flexing have not been addressed properly, which has led to poor relations with the neighbouring states as well.

Since its establishment, the caste system in India has persisted as a strong social and economic divide. Even during the Raj, it was only the Brahmans who were selected to fit into the British scheme of sharing power with the locals. Interestingly, prominent leaders such as Nehru and Gandhi too emerged from the higher castes, with lower castes often having little representation. Leaders belonging to the Dalit caste, the bottom rung of the ladder, such as the Indian constitutionalist Ambedkar were often overlooked
Dalits, who constitute approximately 20 percent of India’s one billion plus population, have often struggled against the caste hierarchy, a system which has sentenced them an the eternal yoke of serfdom. The continuation of such a discriminatory outlook has led to a vicious cycle among the caste systems due to the excessive feelings of discontent amongst “lower” classes. Thus, the concept of a unified nation still seems to be elusive as far as India is concerned.

Since philosophy of Communism relieves the society from any polarisation, it is considered by a growing number of people as the only panacea to overcome class differences. Mao’s political theory has not only gained popular support amongst the lower sections of Indian society, but has also alienated the privileged and dominant groups, as they are not ready to share their perks and privileges with the ‘have-nots’. Now the former group has turned to force, as a tool to fight for their betterment. It is thus no wonder that the Indian Prime Minister has come out and stated that India is facing its most grave threat from the Maoists, and this factor must be not be overlooked if we are to tackle the terrorism issue in the region.

The Nation

Iran and Pakistan sign gas export agreement

Iran and Pakistan formally signed yesterday an export deal which commits the Islamic republic to supplying its eastern neighbour with natural gas from 2014.

The contract is the latest step in completing a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan within the next four years.

“This is a happy day,” Iran’s Deputy Oil Minister Javad Ouji told reporters at the contract signing ceremony in Tehran. “After decades of negotiations, we are witnessing today the execution of the agreement… to export more than 21 million cubic metres of natural gas daily from 2014 to Pakistan,” he added.

He said that from today, Iran will start building the next 300-kilometre leg of the pipeline from the southeastern city of Iranshahr to the Pakistani border, through the Iranian port of Chabahar.

Iran has already constructed 907km of the pipeline between Asalooyeh, in southern Iran, and Iranshahr, which will carry natural gas from Iran’s giant South Pars field. Pakistan’s Deputy Energy Minister Kamran Lashari, who was present at the signing ceremony, said Islamabad will conduct a one-year feasibility study for building its section of the pipeline.

It will then “take three years for constructing the 700km pipeline” from the Iranian border to the Pakistani city of Nawabshah, he added. The pipeline was originally planned between Iran, Pakistan and India, but the latter pulled out of the project last year. Pakistan plans to use the gas for its power sector.

Maoists winning the battle to control India

Friday’s train crash in India has been blamed on “sabotage” by Maoist rebels. It was the latest in a series of rebel attacks after the government launched an offensive against them. The BBC’s Soutik Biswas asks whether the rebels are gaining the upper hand.

It is not surprising that Maoist rebels are being blamed for the derailment of an express train in India’s West Bengal state, in which 71 passengers were killed.

The police claim they have found posters signed by a local Maoist militia claiming responsibility for removing part of the track, which led to the train skidding off and colliding with a freight train coming in the opposite direction.

West Midnapore district, where the incident happened, is the hotbed of Maoist rebellion in West Bengal, one of the states where the rebels have a presence.

Tribespeople dominate the district, especially the forested Junglemahal region bordering Jharkhand state.

They feel ignored and deprived by the Communist government which has been ruling the state since 1977. Most live in abject poverty. The only visible signs of “development” I spotted during a trip to the area some years ago were cheap liquor shops.

Strong support

Fed up with the state of affairs, Junglemahal’s tribespeople even agitated for a separate state.

When neighbouring Jharkhand was carved out as a separate state, their alienation grew and they were quick to welcome the Maoists, who wield most influence in areas which are poor and dominated by tribespeople.

The security forces are on the backfoot after a spree of rebel attacks
The Lalgarh area in Junglemahal is the rebels’ most formidable stronghold.
In February, they stormed a police camp in Lalgarh, killing 24 policemen.
Rebels love to describe Lalgarh as a “liberated zone” where the state has withered away – schools and medical centres have closed down because teachers and doctors are afraid to attend, and policemen are confined to the police stations fearing reprisals.

Friday’s incident in West Midnapore demonstrates how the rebels are taking the battle to their enemies ever since the federal government launched an offensive in what is known as India’s “red corridor” earlier this year.

This comprises 223 of India’s 636 districts in 20 states which the government says are “Maoist affected”, up from 55 districts in nine states six years ago.
Ninety of these affected districts, the government says, are experiencing “consistent violence.”

The rebels have been carrying out attacks with impunity in recent months – two major attacks Dantewada in Chhattisgarh state left more than 100 people dead, including 75 paramilitary troops.
But there are also theories that in this case the Maoist script went slightly awry.

Maoists frequently tamper with railway lines and often these lead to minor derailments; a number of such attempts have been caught well in time. There have been hijackings but no major attacks on civilian transport with such a death toll.

In the past year, Maoists have carried out 32 attacks on railways, mainly in Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh – but no major casualties have been reported.

Support for the Maoist cause across India generally will be dented by such an attack, just as it was after the assault on troops in Dantewada.

Following the twin Dantewada attacks, the government said it was reviewing its strategy for fighting the rebels, who have refused to respond to repeated government offers for talks.

Analysts say that the strategy of “clearing, holding and developing” rebel-affected areas evidently inspired by the US strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan is not working.

‘Visible retreat’

One reason, they say, is that the surge of security forces and resources on the ground are not sufficient enough to take on the rebels who are spread over a vast swathe of remote mineral-rich forest lands.

Maoists call Lalgarh a “liberated zone”

The government is now in a “visible retreat” after a spree of rebel attacks, says security analyst Ajai Sahni.
He believes that a lack of adequate forces, training and intelligence is leading to these “disasters”.

“Unless local capacities for intelligence and operations are enormously augmented, this [offensive] can go nowhere, and lot of lives are going to be lost for no useful purpose,” Mr Sahni says.

But the under-equipped local police and intelligence-gathering networks remain Indian security’ s weakest link, and there no visible efforts to bolster them.

The government appears to be confused over how the rebels should be tackled – there are differences in the ruling Congress party itself on whether the state should strike hard against it’s own people.

Recently federal home minister P Chidambaram requested wider powers to deal with the rebels, saying that he had been given a “limited mandate.”
He said the chief ministers of some of the worst affected states have asked for air power to be used against the rebels – a measure that the government has refused to sanction.

Analysts believe that many states are not doing enough to take on the rebels, leading to a “centralisation” of the problem.

The train ‘”sabotage” was one of the biggest attacks launched by the rebels
“The principal responsibility for dealing with the Maoists remain that of the states; the first responders, the local police stations, have to be strengthened and equipped to deal with the task on their own.”

Till that happens, the rebels will be seen to have an upper hand in what promises to be long drawn out and bloody conflict, the like of which India has never seen.

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India left out. Iran and Pakistan ink $7.5 billion Pipeline deal

India left out. Iran and Pakistan ink $7.5 billion Pipeline deal

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan and Iran on Friday signed a “sovereign guarantee” agreement paving the way for the completion of a 7.5-billion-dollar gas pipeline project within the next four years.

The 900-kilometre (560-mile) pipeline will be between Asalooyeh, in southern Iran, and Iranshahr, near the border with Pakistan, and will carry natural gas from Iran’s South Pars field.

Pakistan petroleum minister Syed Naveed Qamar told reporters after a signing ceremony in Islamabad that originally the pipeline was planned between Iran, Pakistan and India, but the latter withdrew from the project last year.
“I am extremely pleased that after 17 long years this project is finally starting. It would help us generate energy for our industrial growth,” Qamar said of the Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) between the two countries.
Qamar added that “Iran had assured us that they would complete the project between two-and-half to three years, ahead of schedule.”

The imported natural gas — whose volume is estimated at nearly 20 percent of Pakistan?s current gas production — will be dedicated to the power sector.

Electricity generation through gas would result in “significant” annual savings when compared with other fuels, a petroleum ministry statement said.

Supply is contracted for a period of 25 years, the statement said, renewable for another five years.
“While all other CPs (Conditions Precedent) of the GSPA are completed, the project is now ready to enter into its implementation phase,” the ministry statement said.

“As per current project implementation schedule, the first gas flow is targeted by end 2014.
“The capital cost for the Pakistan section is estimated at 1.65 billion dollars.”

At least 35 die as Maoists blow up bus in India

RAIPUR: At least 35 people were killed after Maoist rebels blew up a bus carrying police and civilians in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh on Monday, an official said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters in the state capital Raipur that the dead included 11 police personnel.

“Twenty-four civilians and 11 policemen have died and 15 persons including 14 police personnel were injured in the blast,” the chief minister said.

He said an unspecified number of bodies were still trapped in the mangled bus following the mine blast in Dantewada district, a Maoist stronghold where rebels ambushed and killed 75 policemen last month in the bloodiest massacre of security forces by the extremists.

Television footage showed bodies laid out on the road next to the wreckage of the bus. The front portion of the vehicle had been almost completely destroyed by the force of the blast.

“The killing and targeting of innocent civilians travelling on a bus is to be strongly condemned by all right-thinking people,” Indian Home Secretary G.K. Pillai told reporters in New Delhi.

The security men among the dead and injured were special police officers, who are recruited from the civilian population to help security forces in anti-Maoist operations, said S.R. Kalluri, deputy inspector general of police.

The left-wing guerrillas have stepped up attacks in response to a government offensive against them that began late last year in the forests of the so-called “Red Corridor” that stretches across north and eastern India.

The insurgency began in the state of West Bengal in 1967 in the name of defending the rights of tribal groups, but attacks have since spread to 20 of India’s 28 states.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has labelled the insurgency the biggest internal security threat to India.
Tribal groups and many rural areas have been left behind by the country’s economic development, and the poverty and discontent with local government corruption is seen as a major source of Maoist support.

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Freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Kashmir heats up

Freedom struggle in Indian Occupied Kashmir heats up

SRINAGAR, India — Militant violence is surging in Indian-controlled Kashmir after years of declines, officials say, warning of increased insurgent infiltration from Pakistan and a bloody summer ahead.

Nearly everyday, the crackle of gunfire and the roar of mortars can be heard somewhere in the towns and forests of the scenic Himalayan region, which is claimed by both India and Pakistan but divided between them.

Most recently, Indian soldiers have been hunting Muslim militants for more than a week in a thickly forested area northwest of Srinagar, the region’s main city. The operation, one of the largest in years, has already left 11 suspected rebels and four soldiers dead amid the rugged terrain, said Indian army spokesman Col. Vineet Sood.

On Friday, police said that suspected rebels threw a grenade at government forces as they fired rubber bullets to disperse nearly 150 anti-India protesters in Srinagar, wounding four security forces and one civilian.

Hemant Lohia, a top police officer, said two of the injured troops were in critical condition.

No militant group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

“The army is gearing up to meet new challenges as this summer is going to be a hot summer in terms of security,” India’s Defense Minister A.K. Antony recently told reporters. Summers have traditionally been a time of increased fighting in Kashmir, as snow melts in Himalayan mountain passes and militants are able to slip across from the Pakistani-controlled portion of the territory.

Police say they have arrested 10 Kashmiri teenagers just this month — six allegedly trying to cross to the Pakistani side for arms training and four looking for weapons training on the Indian side.

According to police records, 76 suspected militants and 23 members of the police and the army have been killed in the first four months this year. Thirteen civilians have also died in the conflict.

During the same period last year, 53 militants, 15 members of various security forces and five civilians were killed.

The spike in militant violence follows a decline that began in 2004, after India and Pakistan initiated a peace process, that reduced bilateral tensions but made little headway in settling the two nation’s core dispute over Kashmir. The violence could complicate efforts by the South Asian rivals to restart the peace talks that were frozen after 10 Pakistan-based militants attacked the Indian city of Mumbai in November 2008.

Analysts say massive street protests that roiled Indian Kashmir over the past two years may have paved the way for the resurgent militant attacks.

The protests were sparked by local issues, such as a state government decision to transfer land to a Hindu shrine, but quickly became the region’s largest-ever protests against Indian rule, often bringing tens of thousands of people into the streets. Rock-throwing would lead to government forces firing tear gas and even live ammunition, leading to pitched clashes. Overall, more than 60 protesters have been killed and hundreds more wounded.

Meanwhile, Indian authorities launched a massive arrest campaign, hauling in hundreds of protesters.

The crackdown “is radicalizing the situation,” said Noor Mohammed Baba, a professor at the political science department of Kashmir University. “The scenario becomes more favorable for radical elements to take over.”

Security forces, with long experience at fighting militants, have had more trouble neutralizing street protests.

Until there is forward movement toward resolving the festering Kashmir dispute, it will be difficult to end the protests, analysts say.

“They don’t fear armed militants as much as youth in the streets now,” Baba said.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan and India have fought two wars over Kashmir and, since 1989, Muslim militants have fought in Indian-controlled Kashmir for independence or merger with Pakistan.

More than 68,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in what seemed like relentless cycles of fighting and crackdowns.

India accuses Pakistan of funding and training militants in the Pakistani-held Kashmir, and helping them slip over to the Indian side to fight.

Islamabad denies that, saying it only gives moral and diplomatic support to the rebels. Violence surges in Indian Kashmir after decline By AIJAZ HUSSAIN (AP)

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