Islamic militants blamed as 35 Hindus are killed in World Review Posted May 3, 2006 · Report reply Islamic militants blamed as 35 Hindus are killed PRAKRIITI GUPTA IN JAMMU http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=653482006 SUSPECTED Islamic militants have killed at least 35 Hindus in separate incidents in Indian Kashmir. Twenty-two people were gunned down when a village was raided, and the bodies of 13 shepherds abducted over the weekend have been found. In the village raid, more than a dozen militants dressed in army fatigues stormed Panjdobi and Thava hamlets in Doda province, and asked the Hindu families to gather at the house of the local head- man. The villagers were then lined up and shot indiscriminately, a police spokesman said. Rakesh Sharma, an eyewitness whose brother was among the injured, said they were sleeping when armed gunmen dressed in army uniforms knocked and asked them to gather at the headman's house. "We were tied with ropes, beaten and then lined up and shot at. I escaped while many were dead. There was blood and cries all around," he said. "Since there was no security forces in proximity, the injured were shifted to hospital only at 8am in the morning." For centuries, Kashmir's Hindus - known as Pandits - lived peacefully alongside the area's Muslim majority. But the Pandits have been targeted relentlessly by Islamic insurgents who have been fighting since 1989 to wrest Kashmir from largely Hindu India. An estimated 2,000 have been killed. The latest killings come days before Kashmir's political separatists are due to meet Manmohan Singh, the Indian prime minister, who suggested the murders would not hamper efforts to find peace in the region, divided between India and Pakistan. "People of Kashmir have rejected and rebuffed terrorists repeatedly," he said. India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of backing the militants, even as the two rival nations have talked peace. Mr Singh, however, stopped short of blaming Islamabad for the new attacks.