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Cases against nearly 1,200 Kashmiris to be dropped
Indian Kashmir to withdraw criminal cases against nearly 1,200 alleged stone throwers
By The Associated Press

SRINAGAR, India (AP) ' Authorities in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir say they will drop nearly 1,200 criminal cases against people for allegedly throwing stones during violent protests against Indian rule last year.

The region's top elected official says the government was dropping the cases to give the suspects "an opportunity to be responsible persons and lead a normal life."

Omar Abdullah says officials will still prosecute those accused of setting fire to government offices and vehicles.

Anti-India sentiment runs deep in the disputed Himalayan region. Last year tens of thousands of young Kashmiri men staged street protests demanding independence or a merger with Pakistan. At least 112 people were killed as troops fired into crowds.

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