Violence in held Kashmir claims 10 lives in four days

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Three more Kashmiri youths were killed by Indian occupation forces in a violent operation in held Kashmir’s Shopian district, raising the four-day death toll to 10 — as Kashmiris announced a strike to protest the intensifying brutalities in the disputed territory.

The three were killed by the troops during a search operation in the district’s Hadipora area, Kashmir Media Service reported. The violence has seen an uptick in recent days, raising the number of Kashmiris killed four days to 10. Internet services have been cut in Shopian, Kulgam and Islamabad districts of southern Kashmir.

It comes as a complete strike was observed in the disputed territory on Sunday, on the call of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) to protest against the “ongoing genocide of Kashmiris, particularly, the increasing incidents of ruthless killing of innocent youths by Indian troops”.

An APHC spokesman said India wanted to “eliminate the young generation of Kashmir and the killing of innocent youth day in and day out is part of this policy”. He appealed to the world human rights organisations to take cognisance of the grave human rights violations being perpetrated by Indian troops in the occupied territory.

The violence comes days after a mosque was destroyed in an operation carried out by Indian troops in Shopian, a move which drew strong condemnation from Pakistan. The Jammu and Kashmir National Front (JKNF), while condemning in strong terms the killing spree of innocent youths and the desecration of the mosque by Indian occupation forces as the “worst form state terrorism”.

In a statement issued on Sunday, JKNF spokesman Shafiq-ur-Rehman expressed his party’s grave concern over the fast deteriorating political and human rights situation in the valley said killing Kashmiri youth during fake encounters, vandalising and blowing up public properties to ashes has become a new norm in Kashmir.

“Even sacred sites and places of worships are no longer safe in Kashmir,” he said adding the heinous attacks on places of worship have increased during the recent couple of years.

Terming sacrilege of mosque an outrageous assault on the religious sentiments of people, the spokesman said that attacks on places of worship by the Indian troops was a manifestation of growing xenophobia and racism among the rank and file of the Indian army.