Jammu & Kashmir: Hundreds detained, one shot dead, during Modi visit

8th Nov 2015
Jammu & Kashmir: Hundreds detained, one shot dead, during Modi visit
By Zahid Rafiq

 

SRINAGAR, Jammu Kashmir, India [J&K] (AA & Greater Kashmir): Amid a severe curfew imposed by Indian authorities in Jammu Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the disputed region Sunday to address a rally in the heavily fortified city of Srinagar. Hundreds of Muslims were detained prior to the visit of Modi. One was shot dead.

Chairman of Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani Saturday slammed the J&K government for caging people and separatists on the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Srinagar.
He said the Government’s actions are “hooliganism and worst kind of state terrorism.”
Geelani, who was detained outside his residence after he attempted to take out ‘Million March, said the government’s curbs on movement of people “fully exposed the democratic claims of India” and “authenticated that they lost this battle even before it could have started.”
He termed the ‘war-like’ situation, curfew and detention of hundreds of pro-freedom leaders, activists and youths to foil peaceful “Million March” program as “acceptance of defeat by the rulers and their local agents.”
Addressing media-men outside his residence, he said “the basic problem in Kashmir is the illegal and forced military occupation of India and it is this military power which India is using to suppress the peaceful and genuine voices of the Kashmiri people.”

Keeping his speech limited to economics and ignoring the long drawn political conflict, Modi announced a financial package equivalent to $12.1 billion.

“Don’t think that the 80,000 crore package is the full-stop,” Modi told crowds at the Sher I Kashmir stadium. “This is just the beginning. There won’t be any dearth of money.”

Modi said the much-awaited assistance would cover relief for victims of last year’s floods, including farmers and businessmen, and be used to enhance tourism, youth employment and infrastructure.

Modi’s visit was managed amid a heavy clampdown on opponents of Indian rule in the Muslim-majority region as well as the civilian population.

Hundreds of checkpoints had been put in place across Srinagar in the three days leading up to the visit and the Internet was reportedly disconnected.

According to Indian police sources, more than 300 opposition activists and leaders were arrested prior to Modi’s arrival.

On Saturday evening, a 22-year-old Kashmiri man was shot dead by Indian soldiers in Srinagar following the visit.

Eyewitnesses said Gowhar Dar, an engineering student, was shot in the head in the city’s Zainakote neighborhood during clashes between protesters and security forces.

The demonstrators had been attempting to stage a “Million Man March” against Indian rule when the military fired tear gas and warning shots.

“His face was covered with pellet injuries and he had a bullet injury in his head, which killed him,” a local from Dar’s Mustafa Abad neighborhood told Anadolu Agency.

News of the killing brought more protesters on to the streets.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, which both claim the entire region. The two countries have fought two wars over Kashmir since they were partitioned in 1947.

In Jammu Kashmir, resistance groups have been fighting for independence from India or for unification with neighboring Pakistan since 1989.

More than 70,000 Kashmiris have been killed in the violence, most of them by Indian forces.

 

[Photo: Indian police detains the Kashmir pro-independence leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar, Indian Kashmir, 07 November 2015. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA}

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