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Jammu Kashmir completely shuts down after killings

3rd Apr 2018
Jammu Kashmir completely shuts down after killings

By Zahid Rafiq

 

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India, (AA): Jammu and Kashmir remained in a state of paralysis on Monday with thousands of Indian forces in riot gear manning the streets a day after 13 militants, four civilians and three Indian soldiers were killed.

The region looked largely deserted with little or no vehicular movement as Indian authorities imposed severe restrictions on residents following a strike call by the region’s Kashmiri pro-independence leaders.

The streets were wound in loops of barb wires, with checkpoints and barricades at regular intervals to prevent any demonstrations against the killings that took place on Sunday.

To prevent further anti-India protests, the government in the region shut down all educational institutions Monday; however, protests at University of Kashmir continued despite the government measures.

The government also blocked internet access as well as railway services in the region.

Top Kashmiri pro-independence political leaders, including Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Tehreek-e-Hurriyat head Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai remained under house arrest.

Sunday turned out to be one of the bloodiest days in the region’s recent history. Following the deaths of 13 Kashmiri militants and three Indian soldiers in multiple gunfights, more killings took place when thousands of civilians marched in support of the militants; Indian forces were accused of opening fire on unarmed protesters.

Over 70 civilians were still recovering from the serious injuries they sustained on Sunday at hospitals across the region.

According to Sher I Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Medical Superintendent Farooq Jan, 10 people with firearm injuries were being treated at the hospital; one victim was brought dead.

Dr. Saleem Tak, head of SMHS hospital in Srinagar, out of 34 injured brought to his health facility, 33 had pellet injuries in their eyes.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

[Archive photo: Indian paramilitary soldiers in Pampore near Sringar, Jammu and Kashmir, India on 21 February 2016. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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