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India: Kashmiri independence leader arrested

27th Aug 2016
India: Kashmiri independence leader arrested

By Ahmad Adil

 

NEW DELHI (AA): Indian police on Friday arrested a leading Kashmiri independence leader, his party said. Meanwhile at least 19 students have been blinded by Indian security officers.

Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was seized Friday afternoon outside his home in Nigeen, to the northeast of Srinagar, and taken to an unknown location, a member of his Hurriyat (M) party said on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns.

“He tried to lead a march today and he was detained by the police,” the party member said. “We dont know about his whereabouts.”

Activists seeking Kashmir’s independence from India have called for demonstrations amid a rising number of killings by the security forces.

A fatal shooting earlier Friday took the number killed since July 8 to 69. It followed the visit of Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh to Indian-controlled Kashmir on Thursday.

“This is not acceptable,” local resident Zubair Ahmad said. “They can’t arrest our leaders like this. Today’s arrest is the outcome of Thursday’s visit by the Indian home minister to Kashmir.”

At least 19 students from Kashmir Valley with serious pellet injuries in eyes have been admitted in the L V Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI) Hyderabad, courtesy-Non-Governmental Organization- ‘Help Foundation.’

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.

The two countries have fought three wars since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were over Kashmir.

Since 1989, militant groups in Indian-held Kashmir have fought for independence or unification with Pakistan. More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict, most by the Indian armed forces.

Additional reporting by The Muslim News

 

[Photo: Indian paramilitary soldiers outside Govt building. Photorgrapher: Faisal Khan/AA]

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