Thursday, April 18, 2019 | ePaper

Strike, curfew shuts Kashmir on rebel's death anniversary

  • Print


Kashmiri Muslim protesters throw rocks and bricks at policemen amid tear gas smoke during a protest against the killing of civilians in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir on Saturday

AP, Srinagar :
Armed police and soldiers fanned out across much of Indian-controlled Kashmir to enforce a security lockdown on Sunday as separatists challenging Indian rule called for a shutdown and protests on the second anniversary of the killing of a charismatic rebel leader.
Government forces patrolled deserted streets and sealed off the hometown of Burhan Wani in anticipation of widespread anti-India protests and clashes in the region. Wani, 22, was killed along with two associates in a brief gunbattle with Indian troops two years ago.
Separatist leaders called for a general strike and protest march to Wani's hometown to honor him. The killing triggered open defiance against Indian rule and led to months of massive protests and clashes in the disputed region. At least 90 people, mostly young men and students, were killed and thousands wounded, hundreds of them in the eyes and blinded by shotgun pellets fired by Indian troops.
Despite security restrictions, nearly 200 students in the University of Kashmir campus staged a protest seeking an end to Indian rule. The students carried Wani's photographs and displayed placards while chanting slogans like "Farewell our martyr" and "Go India, go back."
Police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear and carrying automatic rifles laid steel barricades and coiled razor wire on roads and intersections to cut off neighborhoods in a bid to stop protests. Authorities also suspended internet on mobile phones in the region, in a common practice to make organizing protests more difficult.
The anniversary comes a day after the Indian military's firing killed a teenage girl and two young men in a southern village.
Wani had rejuvenated Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest of Kashmir's militant groups as he attracted dozens of new recruits while using Facebook and other social media sites. His death and subsequent protests made the armed rebellion mainstream in Kashmir and gave new life to the rebel movement that had withered in recent years, reduced to just about 100 fighters in scattered guerrilla groups.
According to official estimation, about 200 young men have joined rebel ranks, some of them after snatching weapons from soldiers and police, since Wani's killing.
It also cemented a shift in public behavior by displaying anger at Indian rule openly and violently when troops raid villages and towns to hunt rebels. Villagers who had learned to hide any sympathy they felt for fighters now speak of them openly with reverence and warmth and also engage in deadly clashes with government forces during their counterinsurgency operations.
Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both in its entirety.
Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989, demanding that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.
Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.
Troops shot dead three stone-throwing protesters including a 16-year-old girl in Indian-administered Kashmir on Saturday, as tensions rose ahead of the anniversary of the death of a popular rebel commander.
Witnesses said soldiers opened fire in the southern Kashmiri district of Kulgam after hundreds of people angry at an army search operation for suspected militants gathered to protest, some hurling objects.
A government doctor told AFP that the dead included two men aged 20 and 22 years and a 16-year-old girl.
"The three had bullet injuries and succumbed soon after their arrival at the hospital," the doctor at a sub-district hospital in Kulgam said on condition of anonymity.
Police chief S. P. Vaid confirmed the deaths to AFP but did not reveal any more details.
The killings come on the eve of the second anniversary of the death of Burhan Wani, a charismatic 22-year-old rebel killed by government forces two years ago on July 8.
Separatist leaders have called for a shutdown on Sunday to commemorate the slain militant.
Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, a separatist leader who is under house arrest, accused the security forces of carrying out a "massacre", saying they had fired indiscriminately at protesters.

More News For this Category

US waging 'financial war' against Palestinians

US waging 'financial war' against Palestinians

AP, Ramallah, West Bank :The new Palestinian prime minister on Tuesday accused the United States of declaring "financial war" on his people and said an American peace plan purported to

Satellite images show activity at North Korea's nuclear site: US report

Satellite images show activity at North Korea's nuclear site: US report

AFP, Seoul :Activity has been detected at North Korea's main nuclear site, suggesting Pyongyang may be reprocessing radioactive material into bomb fuel since the collapse of a summit with Washington,

US Sudent sues Chinese billionaire for alleged rape

US Sudent sues Chinese billionaire for alleged rape

Reuters, Minneapolis :A University of Minnesota student who said she was raped last August by Richard Liu, the chief executive officer of China's e-commerce retailer JD.com Inc, filed a civil

Indonesian President calls for unity after election

Indonesian President calls for unity after election

Reuters, Jakarta :Indonesian President Joko Widodo said on Wednesday that vote "quick counts" indicated he had regained the presidency, but called on his supporters to wait for the election commission

Trump vetoes bill to end US support for Saudi-led Yemen war

Trump vetoes bill to end US support for Saudi-led Yemen war

President Donald Trump on Tuesday vetoed a resolution from Congress directing him to end US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, the second such move of his presidency.The resolution

News In Brief

Jailed ex-S Korean president requests temporarily releaseAP, Seoul Imprisoned former South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday requested a temporarily release so she can be treated for health problems her

World leaders stunned by Notre-Dame fire, urge rebuilding

World leaders stunned by Notre-Dame fire, urge rebuilding

AFP, Paris :Global leaders and institutions shared the international shock at seeing Paris's Notre-Dame Cathedral consumed by flames.They stressed the unique and iconic place the monument has in human history

Modi says India undermined Pakistan nuclear threat

Modi says India undermined Pakistan nuclear threat

AP, New  Delhi :Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Sunday that India had called Pakistan's nuclear bluff in recent cross-border air strikes that almost triggered a new war between the nuclear-armed

Socialist Bernie Sanders is a millionaire, his tax returns reveal

Socialist Bernie Sanders is a millionaire, his tax returns reveal

Self-described Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, the 2020 presidential candidate who has long assailed America's growing income inequality, released 10 years of tax returns Monday that confirm his newfound status as

Taiwan President says Chinese drills a threat but not intimidated

Reuters, Taipei :Taiwan has not been intimidated by China's military drills this week, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday, after the latest Chinese maneuvers were denounced by a senior U.S.