Wednesday June 29, 2022

Protest against Yasin Malik’s arrest: Police arrest 10 in IIOJ&K

By News Report
May 27, 2022

SRINAGAR: Police in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) arrested at least 10 people during overnight raids following an anti-India protest that erupted as an Indian court sentenced a prominent Kashmiri pro-independence leader to life in prison, officials said Thursday.

The protest was followed by a clash between dozens of youths and government forces that broke out after the sentencing on Wednesday of Mohammed Yasin Malik, foreign media reported.

Malik, 56, led the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, one of the first armed militant groups in the Indian-held area, but later shifted to peaceful means in seeking the end of Indian rule. Malik was arrested in 2019 and was convicted last week on charges of committing terrorist acts, illegally raising funds, belonging to a terrorist organisation, and criminal conspiracy and sedition.

The youths were arrested for 'anti-national sloganeering & stone pelting outside home of Yasin Malik,' police wrote in a tweet. They said more people were being identified and would be arrested soon.

Police also tweeted a picture of the arrested standing in a row holding their ears with both hands, in an act that is seen as a form of public humiliation and a way of expressing remorse. Dressed in casual wear and sandals, the suspects are shown looking at the ground, as two policemen with automatic rifles stand guard.

Making Kashmiri residents hold their earlobes or do sit-ups on the roadside was common in the 1990s, when government forces sought to humiliate people and dissuade them from supporting militants fighting Indian rule in the Himalayan territory. However, in recent years, such practices have largely stopped as a form of punishment.

"The main instigators of this hooliganism will be booked under PSA," the police tweet said, referring to the Public Safety Act, a harsh law that allows officials to imprison anyone for up to two years without trial. “Such anti-national activities & provocative posture will be always dealt strictly & with full force of law.”

Before Wednesday’s sentencing, dozens of Kashmiris gathered at Malik’s home in Srinagar, the largest city in Indian-controlled Kashmir. Some marched through the streets, chanting “We want freedom” and “Go back India.” Government forces fired tear gas at the marchers, who threw stones. No injuries were immediately reported. Shops and businesses closed in the main centers of Srinagar for a second day.