Shops, businesses, and schools have been closed with public transport off the roads in the Indian-controlled Kashmir after a pro-independence group called for a strike to protest recent civilian killings in the mountainous Himalayan region.
On Saturday, the shutdown was observed across the disputed territory following a call given by the leader of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
The All Parties Hurriyat Conference is a political front formed as an alliance of 26 political, social and religious organizations in Kashmir.
Contingents of Indian police and paramilitary soldiers were deployed to Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar and other major towns on Saturday to prevent people from holding anti-India demonstrations.
Most of the pro-independence leaders, including Geelani, chairman of the Awami Action Committee Mohammad Umar Farooq and chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Mohammad Yasin Malik, also remained under house arrest.
The pro-independence leaders were placed under house arrest on Friday after they called for a march to the southern town of Shopian to protest against the killing of five people.
Shopian has been under curfew for two weeks, following the killing of five people in two paramilitary shootings.
Four people were killed on September 7 when Indian paramilitary forces opened fire on them in Shopian, situated about 50 kilometers (30 miles) south of Srinagar. Paramilitary troops killed another person in the same town on September 11.
Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 60 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the region in full but each only has control over a section of the territory.
Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count, although other sources say the death toll could be as high as 90,000.
Indian security forces have shot dead at least two people in the north of Indian-administered Kashmir, prompting huge anti-India protests.
An Indian police official said that soldiers surrounded a few houses in the village of Markondal in Bandipora District, about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) north of the main city of Srinagar, before dawn on Sunday.
A teenage boy was killed during a search operation.
A second person was killed after the Indian army shot at local residents who were protesting the earlier deadly incident. According to witnesses, three other people were also wounded.
The killings triggered mass protests in the area. Angry demonstrators chanted slogans against the Indian army.
Reports coming out of Kashmir suggest that Indian authorities are considering imposing a curfew to defuse tensions in the region.
Kashmir lies at the heart of more than 65 years of hostility between India and Pakistan. Both countries claim the region in full but each only has control over a section of the territory.
Over the past two decades, the conflict in Kashmir has left over 47,000 people dead by the official count, although other sources say the death toll could be as high as 100,000.
- Singh visit prompts protests (morningstaronline.co.uk)
NEW DELHI – Prominent Indian writer and human rights activist, Arundhati Roy has said that the Indian army and police are using rape as a weapon against the people of Kashmir and parts of India like Manipur.
Arundhati Roy in a media interview in New Delhi while commenting on the issue of the recent Delhi rape incident said that when rape was used as a means of domination by the Upper Caste of the Hindus or by the army and police in India, it always went unpunished.
She said that rape was legitimately used, as the Indian laws protected the culprits when they did it. Arundhati Roy questioned why Indians did not demand the death penalty for the perpetrators of such crimes in occupied Kashmir.
APHC (G) Chairman Syed Ali Geelani in a statement in New Delhi while denouncing the incident criticized the Indian people’s silence over numerous such occurrences in Kashmir. He referred to the tragedies of Kunan-Poshpora, Chanapora and Shopian and said that the culprits in these cases were identified but, even though, were not punished.
And in Srinagar, Jamaat-e-Islami and APHC leader, Zafar Akbar Butt in separate statements raised concerns over double standards adopted by Indian civil society towards the people especially rape victims in the territory.
A majority of Kashmiri youth using Facebook and other social network websites expressed surprise that the entirety of India was demanding the execution of Delhi rapists, but the troops involved in the gory incident of Kunan Poshpora in the occupied territory were protected by the system.
- Delhi gang rape case unveils India’s double standards (sananews.net)
- Muslim leader reminds Indians about raped Kashmiri women (worldbulletin.net)
- Justice for IOK rape victims demanded (sananews.net)