Complete shutdown observed in Held Kashmir against killing of 17 youth by occupation forces

MUZAFFARABAD (Sarzameen News)- Condemnation day was observed on both sides of Line of Control Monday against killing of 17 innocent Kashmir youth by Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir.

Normal life came to a standstill due to the shutdown against the massacre in Islamabad districts and Shopian yesterday.

In Azad Kashmir, call for observing the day was given by Prime Minister, Raja Farooq Haider Khan.

In Held Kashmir, call for the strike was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik.

The troops killed 17 youth including 13 in siege and search operations and four in firing on protesters and funerals in the two districts. Over 200 civilians were injured, many of them critically, in the firing.

Pellet guns were used on protesters, many of whose eyes got damaged. The troops did not allow even the ambulances to take the injured to hospitals. They damaged many houses while using chemical substance. The strike also affected life in far-flung areas of Ramban district in Jammu region.

These killings have sent shock waves and led to massive anger among the population.

The All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) chapter held a protest demonstration outside the National Press Club, Islamabad, against the Indian state terrorism in occupied Kashmir.

Hurriyat leaders, the Prime Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Raja Farooq Haider, and the members of the civil society in large number participated in the protest demonstration.

The speakers on the occasion deplored that the Indian soldiers used brute force on innocent Kashmiris. They said that India had given a licence to its soldiers in Kashmir to kill, arrest and harass Kashmiris in every nook and corner of the territory.

The speakers, expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, reiterated the Kashmiris’ resolve to take the ongoing liberation movement to its logical conclusion at all costs.

All educational institutions, markets, banks and petrol pumps remained closed while traffic was off the road in the length and breadth of the territory.

All examinations scheduled on Monday were also postponed by all three universities including Kashmir University, Islamic University and Central University. Public transport was off the roads.

At many places, the troops barricaded the roads with concertina wires and containers to prevent people from coming on roads. Internet and train services remained suspended on the second straight day, today.

Undeclared curfew and unprecedented restrictions were imposed all across the occupied territory particularly in Shopian, Kulgam, Islamabad, Pulwama and Srinagar districts. However, people defied curfew in many areas and came out to offer funeral prayers in absentia for the martyrs.

Students of Kashmir University staged massive protests in the university campus and offered funeral prayers in absentia for the martyrs. Traders also held a protest in Srinagar. Over a dozen were injured when the troops used force and fired bullets and pellets on protesters in Shopian, today.

The occupation authorities put Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai under house arrest. Muhammad Yasin Malik was arrested.

The killings in Islamabad and Shopian evoked widespread condemnation by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mufti Nasirul Islam, Dukhtaran-e-Millat, Jamaat-e-Islami, Democratic Freedom Party, Jammu and Kashmir Salvation Movement, National Front, Democratic Political Movement, Kashmir High Court Bar Association, South Asia Centre for Peace and Human Rights UK and Kashmir Council EU.

Amid strict restrictions, clashes erupted at Gol Chowk Shopian. Youth pelted stones on deployed forces while in retaliation, government forces fired pellets and tear smoke shells to disperse them. Eyewitnesses and reports said that three youth suffered pellet injuries who were hospitalized.

In Shopian, Doctors and paramedical staff held a protest against the alleged indiscriminate firing by the forces inside the premises of sub-district hospital Shopian.

The doctors said that forces fired several rounds at the casualty block and the blood bank inside the hospital following a heated argument with a doctor who asked them to let them do their duty of treating the people injured in Sunday’s clashes.

The doctors and para-medics presented a memorandum to the DC over the last night firing incident. Before meeting the DC, the doctors and the paramedical staff held a sit-in outside the hospital.

The doctors conveyed to DC that forces resorted to unprovoked firing inside the hospital premises.

Reports from Pulwama said that agitated protesters attacked CRPF Bunker of 183 Battalion with stones. The troopers and police personnel lobbed sound shells to disperse the protesters who were protesting against the militant and civilian killings.

Clashes erupted at Namlabal Cross KP road, Harnag and Seer Hamdan in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Reports said that at least four youth suffered pellet injuries in Seer Hamdan during massive clashes. Large number of youth protested against the civilian and militant killings.

Reports from Kulgam said that undeclared curfew and restrictions remained in vogue while large number of people participated in the last rites of slain civilian Mehrajuddin Mir at Okey Kulgam. Back to Back funeral prayers were offered for two slain militants at Paddarpora Shopian. They were buried amid pro-freedom slogans.

Funeral prayers in absentia were offered for slain 13 militants and 4 civilians in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district. Reports said that a large number of people participated in the funeral prayers.

Legislator Engineer Rasheed along with this party workers staged a protest against the Kashmir killings outside Press Enclave Srinagar. Rasheed along with his workers held a sit-in on Residency Road. The workers were carrying placards seeking an end to genocide in Kashmir. Rasheed raised slogans against India and Army and asked Jammu Kashmir Police to come to their ‘senses’.

While talking to reporters, Engineer Rasheed said that killings of civilians and militants are not going to solve any problem. He said India is resorting to genocide in Kashmir. “Unless and until India doesn’t address the basic issue, people in Kashmir will not fall silent and they will continue to take on India, he said.

He said that those people should feel ashamed of themselves who rejoice the killings of militants. “First they are our Kashmiri youth and then militants. It is India that forced them to take to guns, he added.

Conglomerate of local militant outfits United Jihad Council Monday said that Indian atrocities in Kashmir have crossed all the limits. It said that the criminal silence of international community has encouraged India to unleash terror in Kashmir Valley.

As per a statement to news agency CNS, Syed Salahuddin, the UJC Chief while addressing a high level meeting said that they way Indian butchered 17 Kashmiris in Shopian and Anantnag and wounded hundreds of people by pellets and bullets amply proves that India has completely failed to suppress the freedom sentiments of people of Kashmir.

Instead of reading the writing on the wall, India wants to strengthen its occupation in Jammu and Kashmir using all the military tactics, he said.

Salahuddin expressed anguish over the silence of international community and said that people of Kashmir have right to question the role of international organizations. “Despite knowing the fact that the struggle of people of Kashmir is based on just international organizations doesn’t act against India. These organizations even know when India fails to kill a Kashmiri, it makes him disable whole life,” he said and paid glorious tributes to slain militants and civilians.

Salahuddin urged upon Pakistan to rejuvenate its diplomatic strategy with regard to Kashmir. He also advised political leadership of Kashmir to be united and foil the evil designs of the enemy.

The Joint Resistance Leadership of Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik said that the mayhem in Shopian in which 17 people were killed in one day is another gory episode of pain agony and torment that people of Kashmir are repeatedly subject to from time to time over the past thirty years by the military might of

GOI that has left more than one lakh Kashmiris dead and hundreds of thousands maimed injured and blinded. Kashmir has been turned a land of massacres and south of Kashmir especially Shopian, Tral,  Pulwama,  Kulgam, Anantnag into killing fields drenched in the blood of its natives mostly young boys.

This is the same place where from the ruling PDP claims people voted for it and this is their response to that. JRL said that the vengeful way that bullets and pellets were showered on protesting people left four people dead on spot while more than 50 sustained critical bullet injuries and are battling for life in hospitals.

More than 200 people have been hit by pellets many among them in their eyes which can lead to blindness as has been witnessed.

The scenes at the hospital are heart wrenching as the injured writhing in pain have horrific episodes of forces brutality to narrate. Houses have been blown up and razed to ground and even the owners have not been spared the bullet and killed. What is equally cruel and inhuman is that local resident Mushtaq Ahmed Thakur was used as a human shield by the Indian forces and was killed.

JRL said that there is deep pain and anger among people as they witness killings of young boys who feel forced to take up arms as a means of resisting oppression and forcible control over their land. These young boys give up their studies and stake their future because of the lingering Kashmir dispute and the status quo over it  due to GOI arrogance and stubbornness not to resolve it, and the resulting oppression pushes these young boys to to take up arms to liberate their land.

JRL said that GOI military approach to deal with the Kashmir dispute is consuming our next generation which is a matter of grave concern for all of us. They said that GOI should by now have fully realized that force and might will not deter people from pursuing their just cause even at the cost of their lives. GOI will have to engage with the dispute and give people their basic right to self determination. The sooner it is done the better it is for the whole region.

JRL said that the protest shut down over the mayhem in Shopian will continue tomorrow that is April 3rd and onWednesday April 4 the entire Resistance and Hurriyat leadership will move towards Shopian to express solidarity with the people and offer condolences to the bereaved families who lost their loved ones. Leadership will also address a public rally in Shopian. People have been asked to peacefully protest Shopian killings at their local mosques after Zuhr Prayers.

JRL also said that the claims made by the agencies of the Ruling regime that leadership is now free to move stands completely exposed as within two days of it we were again put under arbitrary house arrest and Yasin Sahab detained in jail.

Police authorities on Monday didn’t not allow the funeral prayers in absentia for the slain youth in Hyderpora today. Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani had also called people to offer absentia funeral prayers of slain youth, but police authorities scuttled the move.

Soon as Huriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani attempted to come out of his residence to offer funeral in absentia, he was stopped by police, spokesman added.

Hurriyat said that Geelani is not only a political personality, but a religious preacher as well and keeping him away from people’s political, religious and social issues is ample proof of this part of land being governed by “an autocratic, undemocratic and unjustified rule. It tantamount to interference in religious matters, Huriyat said saying authorities are suffering from arrogance and frustration.

Referring to the statement of Police DG, wherein he has said that Geelani is now free, Huriyat said that their rhetoric for freedom of speech proved hoax as political and religious leaders are continuously caged and political space denied.

Syed Ali Geelani blamed the Indian authorities, their henchmen in state, police and other government forces for these brutal killings. Calling as unfortunate the killing of civilians in Shopian shootout Geelani added that these forces are resorting to their terror policies to carry their unauthorised rule.

Geelani payed tributes to slain youth in Shopian shootout and said that those who lay their lives for a sacred cause, are alive with their Lord and receive sustenance from Him.

Blaming Indian authorities for their arrogance and stubborn attitude , Syed Ali Geelani said, we are not being allowed to mourn even our slain youngsters and while denouncing authorities for laying curbs on condolences meeting in memory of slain youth,   Geelani justified the resentment shown by youth in Kashmir and said our youth were taking up arms “to put an end to slavery and this barbarity.

Our youth are quite disheartened as peaceful activities are denied,” Geelani asserted and added that “the insensitivity and unconcern of authorities in New Delhi is the sole reason for this unabated bloodshed. Youth have no option but to resent this age-old slavery and take arms to defend their rights.

Lamenting at pro-Indian politicians for prevailing political uncertainty and bloodshed in state, Geelani said that they are playing with the sentiments of people and acting as henchmen for New Delhi in state.

Syed Ali Geelani strongly condemned the use of brute and unproportionate force against peaceful and unarmed civilians and said that opening fire on unarmed people shows the height of state terrorism.

India has declared war against civilians in the state, saying nowhere on earth brute force is used against unarmed civilians,” said Geelani in a statement.

Extending condolences to bereaved family, Geelani said, “we share the grief and pray for the strength to the grieved families to bear irreparable loss and prayed for speedy recovery for those injured during forces shoot out.

Commenting over the unfortunate death of Mushtaq Ahmad Thoker, Geelani condemned forces for their inhuman and barbaric approach, saying making humans as shield is inhuman and barbarous act. It tantamount to war crime, saying it is not a first incident, instead Indian forces as a routine are making human souls as shields, saying they are virtually engaged in genocide in state.

Jammu and Kashmir are highly militarised zone, said Geelani and in presence of forces camps in every nook and corner people feel insecure and are reeling under continuous threat. These camps are source of nuisance and badly affected the lives of citizens living in these localities, said he, saying the lives, honour, dignity of civilians is at stake.

This is an inhuman and unjustified act and it vindicates our claim that forces are involved in war crimes and are patronized and encouraged by Indian leadership,” Geelani said and added that it sends a clear message to the people that “they can go to any extent without any apprehension of accountability.

Syed Ali Geelani in his appeal to human rights organisations, the International War Tribunal and Amnesty International to take cognizance of the incident and “fulfil their responsibilities in saving precious lives” in the state.

Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF), on Monday held a protest demonstration at commercial hub Lal Chowk in Srinagar against the “killing spree” in Kashmir. Scores of traders assembled near historic clock tower in Lal Chowk today morning and held a demonstration against the killings of four civilians in Shopian on Sunday.

They demanded the government to take cognizance of the situation prevalent here and stop killings forthwith. Later, the traders tried to take out a march towards United Nations headquarters at Sonwar here. However, huge posse of government forces already deployed near Polo view prevented them from marching ahead. Many traders were also detained by forces.

Meanwhile, other traders bodies including Kashmir Traders Federation and Kashmir Economic Alliance strongly condemned the killing of militants and civilians. Chief Spokesperson Kashmir Traders Federation, Ajaz Shahdhar said that it is a preplanned genocide. “These killings are condemnable and an indication, how people in Kashmir can be butchered anytime without any mercy, he said.

Co-Chairperson Kashmir Economic Alliance Farooq Ahmed Dar while expressing grief over these killings said that hearts of every Kashmiri are bleeding as our youth are being continuously killed on one pretext or the other.

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