Kashmiris suffer as curfew enters 62nd day

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  • Hurriyet denounces attempts to discredit resistance leadership

In occupied Kashmir, pro-freedom protests and rallies were held amidst undeclared curfew and other restrictions on the 62nd consecutive day on Thursday.

According to Kashmir Media Service, hundreds of people were injured when Indian forces used brute force on protesters, who while flouting restrictions, took out rallies in Pulwama, Islamabad, Shopian, Bandipora, Kupwara, Srinagar, Kulgam, Badgam, Gandarbal and Baramulla districts. High-pitched anti-India and pro-freedom slogans were raised during the protests.

Clashes erupted between Indian forces and protesters after troops subjected participants of the rallies to brute torture. The troops barged into houses, ransacked households and beat up inmates at many places. Police arrested the member of so-called Kashmir Assembly, Engineer Abdur Rasheed, while he was leading an anti-India rally in Handwara area.

All-Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman Syed Ali Geelani, while addressing rallies in Srinagar over telephone, condemned the continued use of force on peaceful protesters across the Valley. He asked the people to beware of the conspiracies being hatched by India against the Kashmir Intifada which had entered its third month.

Meanwhile, Hindu extremists set on fire a Jammu-bound truck in Rajouri area on Thursday. Media reports said the truck was torched by a Hindu mob on the suspicion of transporting bovine animals.

On the other hand, the Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies, a local civic body, during a function in Srinagar conferred gallantry award on a driver, Ghulam Mohammad Sofi, for saving precious lives by putting his life at risk. Ghulam Mohammad Sofi, who belongs to Wusan, area of Gandarbal district, drove his ambulance carrying critically injured patients to the hospital even though the troops had broken his limbs.

Personnel of Indian forces also fired dozens of chilly grenades in old town Islamabad causing irritation to elderly and children. A torch procession was also taken out from Nowgam in Srinagar.

The local Pandits joined the protests in Muran area of Pulwama and raised pro-freedom slogans along with thousands of local Muslims in a rally. The Pandits later addressed the crowd, expressing their resolve to take the movement to its logical end.

Addressing the gathering, Badrinaath Bhat, a local Pandit, said, “We are with our Muslim brethren all the time. We are living here together and their need is our need.”

Hurriyet leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Sumjhi, Yasmeen Raja, Zamruda Habib, Nahida Nasreen, Rafiq Ahmad Dar and Maulana Arif Khateeb, addressing public gatherings in Kupwara, Sopore, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kulgam, Islamabad and Shopian areas, reiterated the Kashmiris’ resolve to continue the ongoing struggle till its logical conclusion.

ATTEMPTS TO DISCREDIT HURRIYET LEADERSHIP DENOUNCED:

Meanwhile, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq-led Hurriyet forum termed as rubbish the reports by some New Delhi-based news channels that travel expenses of Hurriyet leadership were being borne by the Indian government, saying these were aimed at discrediting the resistance leadership.

According to a press release, the Hurriyet forum said, “We strongly denounce rubbish and lies being spread against the resistance leadership through Indian media, though it comes as no surprise to people of Kashmir who are exposed to the real face of the world’s so-called largest democracy everyday and bear its brunt.”

It said that these tactics were aimed at befooling and misleading the people of India and creating hysteria so that attention of people of India was diverted from the actual issue on ground and they were kept ignorant about it.

“We want to ask what travel expenses were provided to the leadership when it previously travelled abroad to create awareness about the Kashmir dispute among the international community or attend invitations extended by the UN, OIC and other forums as representatives of the subjugated people of Kashmir? Because of these efforts of Mirwaiz the democratic India impounded his passport four years ago. What houses, hotels and medical facilities are being provided to them and why,” the forum questioned.

Meanwhile the Huriyet spokesman also condemned the indiscriminate firing on peaceful protest demonstrations by Indian forces in Chawalgam area of Kulgam which led to the cardiac arrest of an elderly person, Abdul Ghani Wani.

Expressing grief over his death, the spokesman said that over 80 civilians had been killed mercilessly and more than 10,000 injured among whom over 250 had been blinded.