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Landmine Kills Indian Paramilitary Officer in Kashmir - 2002-10-28


An Indian paramilitary officer was killed and two police constables severely wounded in a land mine explosion, early Monday, in Indias Jammu and Kashmir State. The violence comes as a new coalition government prepares to take over the state assembly, following elections in September and October that ousted the long-time ruling party in the state.

As violence continues in Indian-administered Kashmir, the new coalition government, made up the opposition Congress Party and the smaller regional People's Democratic Party, is preparing to form a government.

Leaders of the two parties are expected to meet the state governor, Tuesday, to claim power.

The two parties have been wrangling for two weeks over who would be chief minister of the state. On Saturday, both parties agreed PDP leader Mufti Mohammed Syed would take the post for three years and then hand the job over to a Congress Party leader.

Mr. Syed has pledged to overhaul security regulation in the state; release political prisoners; and investigate custodial killings and human-rights abuses.

The veteran Kashmir political leader says he wants Indias government to open a dialogue with separatists in the state. More than 35,000 people have died over the past 13 years, in a separatist insurgency.

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