Tuesday Feb 19, 2019
SRINAGAR: A curfew imposed throughout Indian-occupied Kashmir continued for a fifth day on Tuesday as tensions escalate in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack.
The death toll from Monday's gun battle rose to four as Indian forces continued to clamp down in the occupied valley. The Kashmiris were martyred by Indian troops during a search operation in Pinglena area of the district.
The killings led to clashes between the protesters and troops in the area. Five Indian troops, including an officer, were killed in an attack in the same area.
Further, nearly 200 youth have volunteered to guard Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq after his security was withdrawn. Security of six separatist leaders, including Mirwaiz, was withdrawn on Sunday in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror strike.
Awami Action Committee (ACC) on Twitter said hundreds have registered themselves to guard Mirwaiz. Quoting the tweet, the Hurriyat leader said, "Moved by the love and affection of these young men, my gratitude to their selfless love."
Meanwhile, at least 6,000 Kashmiri Muslims have taken refuge in mosques across the occupied valley fearing attacks by Hindu mobs.
According to Kashmir Media Service, Abdul Majid, a member of Makkah Masjid Committee Bathindi, said around 2,500 to 3,000 people are seeking shelter in his mosque.
Aijaz Ahmed Mir, a resident of Baramulla, who had gone to Chandigarh with his wife for medical treatment said, "We reached Jammu on Sunday evening. Fearing attacks in other areas, we took refuge in Makkah Masjid, Bathindi."
Global rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged the Indian government to ensure that Kashmiri men and women do not face targeted attacks, harassment and arbitrary arrests in the aftermath of Pulwama blast.
Head of Amnesty India, Aakar Patel in a statement said Kashmiri university students and traders in northern Indian states, primarily Uttarakhand, Haryana and Bihar have been beaten, threatened and intimidated by Hindu nationalist groups.
Some 44 Indian paramilitary personnel were killed last week when an explosives-packed van rammed a convoy transporting 2,500 security forces in Pulwama, in the deadliest attack in Indian-occupied Kashmir in 30 years.