Church school torched in Indian Occupied Kashmir

An angry mob protesting against a group of Christians who tore up pages of the Koran in Washington torched a missionary school in Indian Occupied Kashmir on Monday, police said.

Hundreds of angry Muslims chanting anti-US and pro-Islamic slogans marched through the streets of Tangmarg village, 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the main town Srinagar, before attacking the Tyndale Biscoe School.

No one was injured in the torching of the school, which was already shut due to unrest.

The school is a branch of one of the oldest missionary-run schools in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The main one is in Srinagar, which has produced some of India’s leading bureaucrats, doctors, lawyers and engineers.

Police fired teargas and swung batons to disperse the angry protesters, injuring at least four people, said thelocal police officer in Tangmarg, who spoke to media by phone and requested anonymity.

Hundreds of Muslims defied curfews across the region overnight and on Monday to hold protests, chanting “Death to the US!” and “Death to Koran desecrators!” in Srinagar and neighbouring areas, residents stated.

The protests erupted after Iran-based Press TV showed a small group of protesters tearing apart pages from the Quran outside the White House on Saturday, the anniversary of the September 11 attacks on the United States.

Night-long demonstrations were also held in Srinagar’s neighbouring districts of Budgam and Baramulla, with people blocking roads and reading pages from the Islamic holy book, police and witnesses said.

“This is a despicable act. The perpetuators should be punished for hurting the sentiments of Muslims,” leading Shiite cleric and separatist leader Aga Syed Hassan told AFP by telephone from Budgam town.

“We will not take it lying down. We will continue our protests,” he said.

The United States marked the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks amid heightened religious tensions following a radical Florida pastor’s threat to burn the Quran.

The pastor later decided not to go ahead with the torching.

Indian Occupied Kashmir is under curfew again after fresh violence flared over the weekend in the volatile Himalayan region where more than 70 protestors have died in three months of protests against Indian rule.