Thousands protest in Azad Kashmir after unrest

Published: July 15, 2016
Kashmiris march during a protest rally against the killings in India-held Kashmir, in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on July 15, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Kashmiris march during a protest rally against the killings in India-held Kashmir, in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered Kashmir on July 15, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

MUZAFFARABAD: Thousands of protesters marched in Azad Kashmir on Friday to denounce recent deadly clashes with Indian security forces, with some calling for war over the disputed frontier.

About 4,000 people gathered in Muzaffarabad, some carrying photos of slain rebel leader Burhan Wani, whose killing last week sparked unrest that killed 32 people — the deadliest clashes in held Kashmir since 2010 when massive demonstrations were held against Indian rule.

Students, lawyers, traders, political activists and members of militant groups gathered at Friday’s protest, where the local head of hardline militant group, Jamat-ud-Dawa, issued a call to arms.

Supporters of banned organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) shout slogans alongside burning Indian flags during a protest to denounce recent violence by Indian security forces in Indian-held Kashmir in Quetta on July 15, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

“India understands the language of bullet and not voice of people. We have no other option, just to start an armed struggle,” Maulana Abdul Aziz Alvi told the crowd.

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“We call on the military and political leaderships that Kashmiri mujahideen (freedom fighters) should be allowed to go and fight against the Indian troops and for the freedom movement.”

Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan since their independence from Britain in 1947, but both claim the picturesque Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Protesters shout slogans during a protest to denounce recent violence by Indian security forces in Indian-held Kashmir in Karachi on July 15, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

The two countries agreed a border ceasefire agreed in 2003 that has largely held, though there are fears the unrest could lead to a revival of cross-border militancy.

“We came here today to show solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir. We want to tell the world about the brutalities against the unarmed civilians in Kashmir,” Muhammad Tahir, a 26-year-old student, told AFP.

Indian paramilitary troopers stand guard as a Kashmiri family walks past during a curfew, in downtown Srinagar on July 15, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Wani, a 22-year-old poster boy for the region’s biggest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in a gun battle with government forces.

Indian Kashmir under curfew, phones blocked to pre-empt protest

Islamabad summoned New Delhi’s envoy on Monday and conveyed Pakistan’s “serious concern” over the recent violence.

Indian Police said most of those who died were protesters killed by gunshot wounds as troops fired live ammunition and tear gas to try to enforce a curfew imposed across the Kashmir Valley.

Hizbul Mujahideen is one of several homegrown militant groups that have for decades been fighting around half a million Indian troops deployed in the region, calling for independence or a merger with Pakistan.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jul 15, 2016 - 6:38PM

    IT means at a given point of time so many people are jobless in AK . dont they have schools / offices to attend ?Recommend

  • Tanmoy sen
    Jul 15, 2016 - 10:36PM

    Nothing new..Tribune neither see violence committed by the locals nor the communal or sectarian nature of the so called freedom movement..Kashmir is not only sunni dominated 4-5 districts in south,there are large populace of shia,hindu and shikhs..have u gone there to ask them what they want??Even not all the sunni sects-sects like pahari,gujjar,bakherwal,balti,dard-want secession.And also there is large nationalist Buddhist population in a huge area of kashmir.It is only religiously motivated communal wahabi jihad that is concentrated in 4-5 districts of sunni dominated south Kashmir..Though I dont expect neutral authentic journalism frm pak media this post is for the ordinary readers..What is going on in Kashmir is pakistan sponsored sunni jihad that has displaced lakhs of kashmiri Hindus from the valley,killed thousands..As a secular country we cant possibly tolerate this.we will eliminate this jihadism from the heart and soul of kashmir..burhan wani’s killing is a logical step towards that..jai hind…Recommend

  • Point
    Jul 15, 2016 - 11:44PM

    @Bunny Rabbit:
    When world leaders and people come out for LGBT rights in US or for protest in UK or other places and when sikhs came out a couple of months ago on roads when hindus burned their Holy Book does that means all those had no jobs !!!

    I think your army is just implementing it’s worth by killing either sikhs in Punjab or Muslims in Kashmir. I guess this is the only job available in india nowadays. Kill a minority and get reward from indian govt. Recommend

  • XYZ
    Jul 15, 2016 - 11:46PM

    In whole muslim world, jobslessness and lack of modern education is creating a mass of radicalized force which is being exploited by vested interests. It also is creating trouble in other countries because these people are infiltrating or coming in as refugees and them wanting to implement their ideas and values in the host country. World must take notice of this trend and take action appropriately.Recommend

  • Sonali
    Jul 16, 2016 - 12:31AM

    @Point When did Hindus BURN the holy book of Sikhs? Do you know that the Sikh Gurus are equally revered by Hindus? The incident you are talking about that happened few months ago, go back and read what happened. Eventually 2 ex Sikhs who had converted to Christianity were held guilty for the incident. We hindus don’t insult other’s religious beliefs.Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jul 17, 2016 - 9:36PM

    Thousands of Kashmiri Hindus had to flee overnight . did they become militants to claim their land ? Recommend

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