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Kashmir: Nighttime ban added to curfew restrictions, 66 killed

19th Aug 2016
Kashmir: Nighttime ban added to curfew restrictions, 66 killed

SRINAGAR, Indian-held Kashmir (AA): The Indian government has added a ban on movement during nighttime hours to an ongoing 41-day curfew in Kashmir.

Meanwhile, killings blamed on Indian forces have continued with villagers in the southern Kashmiri settlement of Khrew accusing the military of beating a 30-year-old teacher to death on Wednesday night.

According to villagers in Khrew, the Indian army raided the area late on Wednesday and took around 30 youths, including the dead man – Shabbir Ahmad – from the village.

One villager speaking on condition of anonymity told Anadolu Agency: “Shabbir’s body was found outside the village today [Thursday] morning and he had torture marks all over him.”

The death takes to 66 the number of civilians allegedly killed by the army in the last six weeks.

While pro-independence demonstrations, protests and strikes continue in the disputed region, the Indian government appears to be responding with more force.

A senior police officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Anadolu Agency: “The curfew has been intensified. It will be a much stricter curfew than what was seen in the last month. Indian paramilitaries and army will be the main enforcers now.

“People will be made to feel the pinch of it [the curfew].”

As part of the increased clampdown, the Indian government has stopped the movement of vehicles carrying essentials like vegetables and milk which would usually make their way in the night.

According to owners of various petrol pumps in Srinagar, fuel depots have also been directed to stop the sale of petrol and diesel supplies to dealers in the capital and other towns.

Kashmir Economic Alliance chairman, Mohammed Yasin Khan, said on Thursday: “We are being pushed to starvation and death from all sides by this government.

“The police have been ransacking shops and sellers who try to open their outlets during the relaxation by the pro-independence leadership.”

Since July 8, when the present uprising was triggered by the killing of a Kashmiri militant commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani by Indian forces, over 6,000 people have been hospitalized according to government figures. One policeman has also been killed in the protests.

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 – in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in IHK have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

More than 70,000 people have reportedly been killed in the conflict so far, most of them in Indian Armed force’s counter insurgency operations. India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region.

Author Ekip

 

[Photo: Indian police forces carry out an operation against Kashmiris at the battle site in Nowhatta area of Srinagar, Kashmir, India on August 15, 2016.  Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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