Kashmir: No End In Sight
SRINAGAR: A 30-year old youth was killed by security forces in Khrew area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on late Wednesday night while more than 80 people were injured in action by forces during past 24 hours.
Shabir Ahmad Mongu, a contractual lecturer, was picked up by the army and Special Operation Group personnel of J&K police at around 11:30 pm before from his home along with more than a dozen people.
“They (forces) barged into the houses and beaten up inmates before picking up Shabir along with other men. At around 1:30 am we were asked to collect his body,” said a local eyewitness.
Around 40 other people have been injured due to beating by the forces in the area, eyewitnesses said. The area had witnessed protests during on Wednesday afternoon following which the forces raided it in the night.
With Shabir’s killing, the death toll in Kashmir has risen to 66 in past 41 days of uprising since the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani in an encounter on July 8.
The summer capital Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir continue to be under stringent curfew, after authorities foiled “people’s march” to UN office in Srinagar called by the separatists on Wednesday, the day more than 40 people were injured in day-long clashes in several areas.
The “joint resistance leadership” had asked people to march towards the UN office for 72 hours, beginning Wednesday morning, to register their protest against civilian killings.
To counter the separatists program, the authorities also imposed night curfew across Kashmir with police asking people “not to venture out during the night.”
“The night curfew will continue till further order,” a senior police official said.
Meanwhile J&K’s Opposition parties have decided to approach President Pranab Mukherjee to apprise him about the “real ground situation” in Kashmir and try to persuade the central leadership to take steps for restoration of normalcy in the valley.
The opposition parties, at a meeting, called by former Chief Minister and National Conference’s Working President Omar Abdullah, said the uprising wasn’t the creation of Pakistan, and instead asked New Delhi to recognize the anger on the ground and address its root cause.
The opposition has also demanded a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into allegations of excessive use of force by forces personnel while demanding holding of a special session to discuss the Kashmir situation.
“We are worried about youths getting killed in firing by security forces. We are also worried about the mishandling of the situation by the State and the Centre,” Omar Abdullah told media on Wednesday after the meeting.
Responding to a question that New Delhi was raising the Balochistan issue, the NC leader said efforts should be focused on “dousing the fire in our own house”.
“Your own house is on fire. Instead of trying to douse it you are talking about problems in others’ houses. If Prime Minister wants to talk about Balochistan, do it, but we want him to talk about Kashmir as well which is burning for the past 40 days and has witnessed 70 killings,” he said.