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Conflict and contrast in Kashmir

Need to Know presents VII Magazine, a new journalistic partnership with VII Photo, which offers our readers unprecedented intimate access to the work of the world’s leading photojournalists. Every day, our partners at VII will showcase a new photo, and each week, a new video or audio slideshow.

This week: Photos and video by Marcus Bleasdale document scenes of tension and chaos in the South Asian region of Kashmir. The Kashmir conflict dates back to 1947, when the Partition of India formed modern day India and Pakistan. Both the countries have made claims to Kashmir, based on historical developments and religious affiliations of the Kashmiri people.

In Jammu and Kashmir, India, the violent Islamic insurgency has specifically targeted the Hindu Pandit minority. An estimated 400,000 have either been murdered or displaced. Violence has surged recently in response to Florida pastor Terry Jones’ public statement to burn the Koran. Although the plan was called off, the announcement heightened tensions in the Muslim world. In the Kashmir Valley, protests led to 18 being killed and hundreds wounded.

Note: This photo essay can be found in VII Magazine’s archives. To view it, visit the VII Magazine page and click on the “Features” tab.