Troops kill 15, injure 100 in occupied Kashmir

Srinagar: In occupied Kashmir, the Indian troops in their fresh acts of state terrorism martyred 15 youth and injured as many as 100 in Shopian and Islamabad districts in a single day, today.

The youth were killed during cordon and search operations, launched by Indian forces at Dagdard and Kachdoora areas of the two districts in South Kashmir. The toll is likely to increase once the operation is over. The killed who were identified included Jan Mohammad Lone and Zubair Ahmad Butt. They were injured in troops’ firing on protesters and succumbed at a local hospital. Thousands of people participated in the funeral of Rouf Bashir Khanday at his native Dehruna village in Islamabad district. Police confirmed that one of the martyred youth, Mushtaq Ahmad Thokar, was picked up by the Indian army last night.

The killings triggered forceful anti-India protests in the two districts. Over 100 civilians were injured when Indian forces used brute force and fired pellets and bullets on protesters. The Medical Superintendent of District Hospital Shopian, Dr Shafat told media that they were unable to maintain the record of the injured because of the heavy rush. However, independent sources said that the number of injured youth could be more than 100. At least ten youth in the age group of 16 to 26, who received pellet injuries in their eyes, were among 35 admitted to SMHS hospital in Srinagar. The authorities claimed that eight among the killed were mujahideen and two were civilians. They said that two Indian soldiers were killed during the Shopian operation. However, the locals at both places said that all the youth were killed either in fake encounters or during protests. The authorities suspended train and Internet services in South Kashmir districts.

Shutdown was observed and protests were held in many parts of Srinagar city. Clashes were reported between the protesters and the troops. Scores of students of Kashmir University staged a protest at varsity campus in Srinagar against the killings. The protesting students shouted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. They carried banners reading, ‘End Occupation, Free Kashmir’.

Meanwhile, two-day shutdown across the occupied territory began from today to mourn the killings. Call for the strike has been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik. People defied restrictions and curfew and offered funerals in absentia for the martyred youth in every nook and corner of the Valley. The strike will continue till tomorrow. The authorities have postponed the exams and interviews that were scheduled to be held, tomorrow. Orders have been issued for the closure of all schools and colleges.

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