Courtesy Reuters


In Srinagar's Lal Chowk, the most volatile bazaar in the most volatile city in India's most volatile state, life is as normal as life here ever gets. Merchants and marketers haggle over the price of bruised apples, auto-rickshaws jockey with oxcarts for passage through the bustling alleyways, and soldiers gaze lazily through the gun-slits of their sandbagged bunker. There's a rumor that the separatist leader Shabbir Shah will hold a rally at noon, but nobody seems particularly interested. It's almost time for lunch.

Much closer to schedule than might be expected, Shah marches in with a few

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