SRINAGAR Indian police detained a prominent Kashmiri separatist leader in the strife-torn region's main city on Friday after he led a demonstration to protest the alleged rape and murder of two Muslim women.
Yasin Malik, chief of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, was held in Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital, during a protest march, where hundreds were shouting, "We want freedom".
"Malik was detained for precautionary measures," Mohammad Ashraf, a police officer said.
Residents say two Muslim women, aged 17 and 22, were abducted, raped and killed by security forces on Friday in Shopian town, 60 km south of Srinagar.
Indian authorities denied the killing and say the women drowned in a stream.
Shops, businesses and schools were shut across Kashmir valley for the fifth day on Friday in response to a strike call by separatists to protest the deaths.
Stone-throwing protesters and police clashed in several parts of Srinagar, police said.