Kashmir Observes Shutdown against Civilian Killings

Complete shutdown was observed on Wednesday, against the brutal killing of four youth by Indian troops in Chadoora area of Budgam district, Kashmir.


Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, 02 Rajab 1438/30 March 2017 (MINA) – Large parts of the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir observed a complete shutdown on Wednesday, a day after the Indian forces shot dead three civilian protesters and a local militant in central Kashmir’s Chadoora area.

The pro-independence resistance leadership of Kashmir had called for a strike in protest against Tuesday’s killings.

Public and private transport remained off the streets while businesses, schools and public offices were also shut down. All examinations scheduled for Wednesday were also postponed.

The deployment of Indian police and paramilitary was increased across the region, especially in central Kashmir where the killings occurred.

Three civilian protesters were shot dead and over 25 civilians wounded in Chadoora area when Indian forces opened fire on people as they were allegedly throwing stones at Indian security forces involved in a gunbattle with militants who were trapped inside a house in the same area. Security forces claim the protesters were trying to create an opportunity for the militants to escape.

Police spokesman Manoj Pandita confirmed to Anadolu Agency on Tuesday the killing of three civilians, adding the gunbattle that began on Tuesday morning ended with the death of a local militant.

A hospital source identified the civilian victims as 20-year-old Zahid Rashid, 18-year-old Aamir Fayaz and another teenager Ishfaq Ahmad who died after being shot several times.

As news of the civilian deaths spread, more people took to the streets in Chadoora and clashes between people and Indian forces intensified.


India deploys 500,000 troops in Kashmir

The disputed region has seen reinvigorated pro-independence protests after the killing of a popular militant commander in July last year. At least 100 civilians were killed in the subsequent crackdown by Indian authorities, according to officials.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

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.

Kashmiri resistance groups in Jammu and Kashmir 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 since 1989.

India maintains more than half a million troops in the disputed region. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)