Friday prayers banned in IHK


ISLAMABAD: Military and police in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) further tightened curfew and other restrictions on Friday to prevent people from coming out for Friday prayers and then conducting a march towards the UN office at Sonawar in Srinagar against India’s anti-Kashmir moves and its illegal occupation of IHK.

A call for the march was given by the resistance leaders through posters appearing in held Srinagar and other parts of the Kashmir valley. The leaders had urged every young, old, men and women to join the march to convey to India and the world that the Kashmiris would not accept Indian occupation over their territory and Hindu culture.

The authorities converted the Kashmir Valley, particularly Srinagar, into a military garrison by deploying Indian troops and paramilitary personnel in every nook and corner. The Indian troops blocked all roads by erecting barricades and using concertina wires and confined the people to their homes to stop them from coming out on roads to protest against Indian aggression.

However, people repeatedly flouted the curfew and other restrictions and staged protests. Clashes between protesters and Indian troops were reported from several places and Indian military personnel used pellet guns and teargas to disperse protesters.

The Indian authorities also continued information blockade as TV channels and internet links remained snapped and restrictions on media continue since August 5. Schools in IHK continued to register a very thin attendance of students in contrast to staff presence. On the other hand, almost all Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have been put under house arrest or in jails. Over 6,000 Kashmiris, including hundreds of political leaders and workers, have been detained. Those arrested also include even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Engineer Abdur Rasheed and Shah Faesal.

The jails and police stations have run out of space and many detainees have been lodged in makeshift detention centres. Due to severe blockade, the people of IHK are facing acute shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines.

In Pakistan rallies were held by civil society in Islamabad, Karachi and other cities to express solidarity with the people of IHK and denounce Indian atrocities in the held valley. The Islamabad rally was also participated by members from Hindu, Sikh and Christian community.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) staged a rally in Karachi to support the Kashmiri brethren. The rally was staged from New Sabzi Mandi to Superhighway in the constituency of PS-99 and jointly led by PTI Sindh president Haleem Adil Sheikh and Vegetable Traders Association President Haji Azeem. A large number of citizens and traders attended the rally to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

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