SRINAGAR: Indian troops on Wednesday opened fire on unarmed peaceful protesters in occupied Kashmir leaving six persons dead and 100 others injured, as curfew and communication blackout continued on the third consecutive day.
The Kashmir Media Service (KMC) reported: “Despite strict curfew and heavy deployment of the troops, people took to the streets in Srinagar, Pulwama, Baramulla and other parts of the territory to protest against the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A by India.
“The troops fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells on the protesters killing at least six of them and injuring many others. Media reports said that, at least, six people with gunshot wounds caused by lethal weapons were brought to a Srinagar hospital on Monday.”
The UK-based news agency, Reuters, quoting police confirmed that the Indian forces’ personnel fired teargas shells and pellets on protesters in Srinagar. The BBC, citing locals, reported that the Kashmiris were in a state of shock and they were still processing what happened. The news agency added that it seemed the valley was going to erupt very soon.
Meanwhile, the communication of the entire Kashmiri population with the outside world remains suspended as the Indian government continues to shut television channels and snap telephone and internet links in a bid to prevent protests.
The Kashmir Council Europe as a part of three-day protest programme held a demonstration in Brussels, today, against the Indian onslaught on special status of Jammu and Kashmir. Canada’s third largest federal political party, NDP also expressed serious concern over the prevailing grim situation in occupied Kashmir.
The Indian government on August 5 announced to repeal the special status given to the occupied Kashmir under the constitution’s Article 370, which is feared to spark unrest in the disputed territory.
The announcement was made after massive deployment of additional Indian soldiers by the Indian government and thousands of tourists and Hindu pilgrims had been forced out of the Himalayan valley.
Educational institutes have been closed, public gatherings banned and internet and cellular services suspended indefinitely in the occupied valley. Mainstream and separatist Kashmiri leaders alike placed under house arrest, including former J&K CMs Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah. Residents of the valley had stockpiled essential rations and fuel amid the security crackdown.