Kashmir shuts against Kulgam civilian killings

Eight people, including four freedom fighters, were killed in the Indian Held Kashmir on Sunday after a gunbattle broke out between the freedom fighters and the Indian Army, officials said.

A civilian died later when security forces allegedly fired at the crowds to disperse protesters.

Two army men had also been killed in the encounter while three others had suffered injuries.

The situation in the Valley remained tense, especially keeping in view the recent five-month long unrest triggered by killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8 last year.

"Twenty injuries arrived at our hospital for treatment in which two succumbs to his injuries as they have abdomen hit by stray bullet", said senior doctor at District hospital in South Kashmir. "All were involved in several terror incidents, including killing of police personnel", a police spokesman said.

Authorities imposed restrictions in Kulgam and Shopian towns of South Kashmir and also increased the presence of police and paramilitary personnel in sensitive areas in Srinagar and other towns in the Valley. "We salute the people for taking part in huge numbers in the funerals of slain militants".

Flouting the restrictions, people came out of their houses in Kulgam and Pulwama areas and staged forceful anti-India protests.

They stressed the need for resolution of the longstanding Kashmir dispute for ensuring peace, progress and stability in the region.

Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in IHK have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan. More than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising and Indian military crackdown. "Civilians residing within the radius of two kilometres of an encounter site should stay inside their homes and make sure their children are indoors too", the advisory by Jammu and Kashmir police reads.

  • Leroy Wright