South Asia

Kashmir shoe-throwing policeman pardoned

Omar Abdullah at the Independence Day celebrations
Image caption The shoe did not hit Mr Abdullah

The chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir has pardoned the policeman who threw a shoe at him on Sunday.

Omar Abdullah has directed the police to set Ahad Jan free, a government spokesman said.

Mr Jan, a head constable, threw a shoe at Mr Abdullah while he was attending India's independence day celebrations in the capital, Srinagar on Sunday.

The shoe did not hit Mr Abdullah and fell near the podium.

Reports say that Mr Jan shouted, "We want freedom", and waved a black cloth after throwing the shoe.

He was immediately arrested and taken in for interrogation.

The government spokesman quoted Mr Abdullah as saying that "the Holy month of Ramzan teaches us to be compassionate and to forgive everyone".

Reports say that Mr Jan had been suspended from the police force, pending an inquiry.

The mainly Muslim Kashmir valley has been rocked by clashes between protesters demanding freedom from India and security forces for the past two months. Nearly 60 people have died in the clashes.

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