ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (APP):Hundreds of people defying curfew and other restrictions held a forceful demonstration in Srinagar against India’s illegal occupation and scraping of special status of the territory in Indian occupied Kashmir.
According to Kashmir Media Service, defying strict curfew and other restrictions, nearly 1000 people including men, women and children took part in a demonstration held in Soura area of Srinagar yesterday.
Indian troops fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protesters, triggering intense clashes between the demonstrators and the troops. Several people were injured in the brutal action of the troops. BBC correspondent Aamir Peerzada at the scene said that one man was seen bleeding from his eye and another had suffered a neck injury.
The occupation authorities had further tightened curfew and other restrictions on Friday to prevent people from conducting a march towards the UN office at Sonawar in Srinagar against India’s anti-Kashmir moves and its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. Call for the march was given by the resistance leaders through posters appearing in Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir valley. The march was also aimed at resisting the Indian attempt to change the demography of Kashmir through settlement of the outsiders in the territory. Due to severe curfew and restrictions, Juma prayers could not be held at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid and in many mosques in Kashmir, Chanab and Peer Panchal valleys.
Occupied Kashmir is under strict lockdown since 5th August when Narendra Modi-led Indian government announced repeal of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian authorities have converted the Kashmir valley particularly Srinagar into a military garrison by deploying Indian troops and paramilitary personnel in every nook and corner. The authorities also continue to impose information blockade as TV channels and internet links remain snapped and restrictions on media continue since 5th August.
On the other hand, almost all Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have been put under house arrest or in jails. Over 6,000 Kashmiris including hundreds of political leaders and workers have been detained. Those arrested also include even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Engineer Abdur Rasheed and Shah Faesal. The jails and police stations have run out of space and many detainees have been lodged in makeshift detention centres.
Due to severe blockade, the people of Kashmir valley are facing acute shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines.