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August 16, 2016

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Kashmiris observe Indian Independence Day as black day

Eight pro-independence fighters killed in series of gunbattles; police commander, eight freedom fighters killed in gunbattles; demos and protest rallies across IOK and world

MUZAFFARABAD/JAMMU: Kashmiris living in Azad Kashmir, Indian occupied Kashmir and all over the world on Monday observed the 70th Independence Day of India as a black day.

In this regard, protest rallies and functions conveyed a message to the international community that India had usurped the Kashmiris’ inalienable right to self-determination.A central public gathering was held in the state capital with AJK PM Raja Farooq Haider in the chair while Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Sirajul Haq especially participated in the gathering.

Deputy Speaker Sardar Farooq Tahir, Member Assembly Dr Bashir Mustafa, Member Kashmir Council Pervez Awan and others were also present on the occasion.The prime minister and other speakers expressed solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir.

Raja Farooq Haider said the Kashmiris had celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day in the occupied Kashmir by flouting curfew and other restrictions.

He said Kashmiris loved Pakistan as a day before they had celebrated the Independence Day of Pakistan with great enthusiasm by staging forceful pro-Pakistan rallies and demonstrations and hoisting the Pakistani flags in every nook and corner of the occupied Kashmir.

“Thousands of people defied curfew and took to the streets in Kulgam, Islamabad, Pulwama, Bandipora and other districts and raised high-pitched pro-freedom and pro-Pakistan slogans,” he said.

Meanwhile, a paramilitary police commander and eight pro-independence fighters were killed in a series of gunbattles across the Indian occupied Kashmir.

This came after gunmen shot and wounded at least 10 police paramilitaries in two separate attacks in the main city of Srinagar on Monday.

Atul Karwal, an officer of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), confirmed that one of those critically injured later succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

Karwal added that two militants were killed in a shootout which followed the attack in Srinagar’s Nowhatta locality.

“We have lost a commanding officer. Two militants were also killed in the ensuing gunfight.”Violence took place when the paramilitaries were trying to impose a curfew across the Muslim-majority region during the Indian Independence Day.

In a separate gunfight on Monday, five militants were killed in the northern Uri sector near the Line of Control (LoC).

Imtiyaz Hussain, the area’s police chief, said two Indian Army officers, including a commanding officer, were also wounded and were evacuated to an army hospital in Srinagar.

Fresh series of clashes erupted in the IOK on July 8 when people protested against the killing of Burhan Wani, a popular pro-independence fighter at the hands of Indian forces.

As many as 55 people have so far been killed and several thousand others injured during clashes between protesters and the Indian security personnel.An estimated 500,000 Indian troops are currently deployed in the restive territory. The country has imposed a curfew across large parts of the territory since July. 

Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti, the first woman chief minister of the IOK, was exposed to booing when the Indian flag fell to the ground as she tried to hoist it during a thinly attended gathering at a sports stadium in Srinagar to mark the Indian Independence Day on Monday.

The incident prompted the authorities to order a probe to determine if it was the result of an act of sabotage.“I appeal to both countries that the Line of Control (LoC) dividing Kashmir should be made irrelevant,” Mufti proposed.She blamed the Indian leadership for the current crisis in the valley and appealed to the protesting youths to return to their schools and colleges.

 

 

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