India martyrs six, injures 100 as troops open fire on occupied Kashmir protesters

India martyrs six, injures 100 as troops open fire, using bullets, teargas, pellets, and engage in shelling on occupied Kashmir protesters

By
AFP
|
Web Desk
An Indian police officer stands near his vehicle during a curfew in Srinagar, August 6, 2019. AFP/Sajjad Hussain
 
 

SRINAGAR: The Indian Army martyred at least six people and injured another 100 as its troops in Occupied Kashmir opened fire on protesters, various news outlets reported on Wednesday. One of those killed after being chased by police, officials said.

A police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that in one incident a youth being chased by police "jumped into the Jhelum river and died".

According to media reports, the Indian Army used bullets, teargas, and pellets and engaged in shelling on the protesters as they took to the streets of various towns, including Srinagar, Pulwama, and Baramulla, despite a paralysing curfew and the deployment of additional troops in Occupied Kashmir.

The UK-based Reuters, as well as the BBC, quoted police and locals to report that the entire Kashmiri population is in shock, while the New York Times' editorial board called Kashmir — at present — "the most dangerous place in the world".

More than a 100 people, including political leaders and activists, have been arrested as part of the lockdown for being a threat to the peace in the Himalayan valley, officials told the Press Trust of India.

The demonstrations were against New Delhi's Monday move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special rights, including longstanding semi-autonomous privileges, to the Muslim-majority state.

The latest casualties come as curfew and a communication blackout in the disputed Himalayan region persist, with no means to contact anyone outside and press suppressed as well.

TV channels, phone connections, and Internet access have been blocked across the entire region to prevent the protests from spreading while coils of barbed wire can be seen around Kashmiri towns and villages.

On Sunday night, former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah — along with regional party leader Sajad Lone — were placed under house arrest at the weekend and then reportedly taken to a guesthouse by authorities.

Indian police insist that Kashmir has been mainly peaceful since the curfew was imposed at midnight Sunday, with officials saying the only disturbances were "very few incidents of stone-pelting".

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