One civilian killed, over 80 injured in police crackdown on protests in Kashmir

Residents came out on to the streets against cordon and search operations by the Indian security forces. The police and the army used live fire, shotguns and pellet guns against the civilian protesters

May 31, 2019 by Peoples Dispatch
Indian forces moving towards protesters in Kashmir's Shopian district. (Photo: Kamran Yousuf/ Newsclick)
Indian forces moving towards protesters in Kashmir's Shopian district. (Photo: Kamran Yousuf/ Newsclick)

One civilian was killed and more than 80 injured in a crackdown by security forces on protests against counter insurgency operations at two locations on the Indian side of Kashmir on Wednesday. The killed civilian was identified as Sajad Ahmad Parray. Many of those severely injured were shifted to hospital in the capital city of Srinagar.

In two different incidents, the police and army conducted cordon and search operations (CASO) in the Gagloora Pinjoora (Shopian district) and  in Tazipora Mohammadpora (Kulgam district) on Wednesday. As a gunfight with militants raged, people came out on streets shouting anti-India and pro-freedom slogan to push back the forces.  The police and the army used live fire, shotguns and pellet guns against the civilian protesters. Around 30 were injured in Shopian, while in Kulgam, 5o people were reportedly injured in the crackdown. Parry was killed in Shopian area.

According to reports, the people managed to rescue two militants in the Kulgam. In Shopian, one soldier was killed in the gunfight and forces blasted the house in which suspected militants were holed up.

Newsclick reported that one of the seven persons – who sustained pellet and bullet injuries – was identified as Yawar Ahmad Lone. He was injured critically with a bullet lodged into his abdomen and suffered excessive blood loss. He was transferred to Shri Maharaja Hari Singh Hospital (SMHS), Srinagar. The use of pellet guns and shotguns by forces, which India considers as ‘non-lethal’ has been widely condemned by international human rights organizations due to the brutal nature of injuries it can cause.

Internet connectivity was partially snapped in the area.

Torture report & Internet crackdown in Kashmir

The recent crackdown comes in the background of a report by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) exposing the Indian state’s systematic use of torture and extra-judicial methods against civilians. The report, titled Torture: Indian State’s Instrument of Control in Indian Administered Jammu and Kashmir, takes a look into 423 cases of torture by Indian forces since the beginning of anti-India armed insurgency movement in Kashmir in 1990.

Apart from the use of torture and thousands of cases of enforced disappearances, India has been accused of controlling access to internet services and thus restricting the news and information of Kashmir’s everyday life under militarization. In a major crackdown on online spaces in April 2017, social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and several others were banned. In 2016, post the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani, India suspended internet services for 133 days in the region.

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