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Amid killings Queen’s Baton Relay lands in Kashmir

Srinagar, June 29, 2010:

Queen's Baton Relay Kashmir
Queen's Baton Relay on a motor boat in Dal Lake in Srinagar. / Javed Dar
The Queen’s Baton relay for 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi landed in the tense and curfewed Kashmir Valley Tuesday amid killings of three more protestors in police firing in the region.

The Queen's Baton Relay, similar to the Olympic Torch Relay, is a relay around the world held prior to the beginning of the Commonwealth Games.

The baton carries a message from the Head of the Commonwealth the Queen Elizabeth II.

Authorities in Indian administered Kashmir gave the baton relay a secure route in the summer capital Srinagar which is gripped by unrest over the killings of protestors in police firing across the region over past weeks.

Two teenagers and a 20-year-old were killed when police and paramilitary opened fired on a group of protestors in southern district Anantnag today.

Eight people have died in such incidents across Kashmir since Friday.

The baton relay which landed in the Jammu and Kashmir state on Monday reached the troubled Kashmir Valley today.

The region’s minister of Science and Technology Aga Sayed Ruhullah received the baton at the Srinagar airport.

Officials said the baton was taken to Mughal Garden Nishat Bagh on the banks of picturesque Dal Lake and from there to Char-Chinari, an islet in the lake in a motorboat, and then to Botanical Garden. The journey will culminate with the Baton entering J L Nehru Stadium, venue of the Common Wealth Games opening ceremony on October 3, 2010.

By the time it arrives at the opening ceremony it would have travelled more than 190 thousand kilometres over 340 days making it one of the longest relays in the history of the games.

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