300 arrested to protect Kashmir bus link

April 5, 2005 at 6:18 AM
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SRINAGAR, India, April 5 (UPI) -- Police in Indian-controlled Kashmir say they have made around 300 arrests to safeguard the start of a bus service between the Indian and Pakistani sectors.

The arrests of suspected militants took place Sunday and Monday in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Indian sector, the Press Trust of India reported Monday.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the bus link on the Indian side Thursday at an event which Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi will attend.

Police officers have been deployed along the bus route to prevent any attempts to sabotage the bus service, which will link Srinagar with Mazaffarabad on the Pakistani side.

Last week, a number of militant groups warned people not to use the bus service, saying they had a list of names of the initial passengers, the BBC reported.

The passenger list has not been officially released for security reasons.

The bus service to link the divided Kashmir was announced in February after a meeting of the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan and is the latest move in a peace process that began at the start of last year.

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