SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown was observed in occupied Kashmir on Sunday amid protests against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the occupied territory, the Kashmir Media Service reported.
The shutdown and protests came on the call of the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik, which was supported by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association.
As Modi visited Srinagar, Ladakh and Jammu to lay foundation stones for different developmental projects, Kashmiris brought all commercial activities to a halt and staged demonstrations against New Delhi’s state-sanctioned brutalities.
Train operations were stopped and traffic flow also remained limited in the occupied region.
In a statement, the JRL said Modi was seeking to crush Kashmiris’ genuine demand for right to self-determination by ordering killings, arrests, destruction of properties and other oppressive tactics.
The Kashmiri leaders asserted that any such person deserved to be welcomed only with protests.
In their bid to quell anti-India demonstrations, the occupying force imposed a curfew and has either taken into custody or put under house arrest many Hurriyat leaders including Gilani and Mirwaiz.
Troop deployment was also increased in Srinagar, Jammu and other areas of the occupied territory, while internet and mobile services were shut.
Additionally unarmed aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones were used for surveillance.
‘Salt in wounds of Kashmiris’
In a statement, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said the Indian PM’s visit to Srinagar was tantamount to “rubbing salt in the wounds of all Kashmiris”.
PM Haider said the people of Kashmir categorically reject the legitimacy of Modi’s visit and his development projects.
He said Indian troops have committed unspeakable atrocities and human rights violations in the occupied territory during Modi’s tenure.
“Shootings on funeral processions and the use of pellet guns to blind, injure and kill Kashmiri youth have become routine. Modi has turned all of Occupied Kashmir into a military camp,” said Haider.
On Saturday, Pakistan said India’s “panic” ahead of Modi’s scheduled visit was proved by the repressive tactics employed by the occupying force.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said Indian troops were continuing with repressive measures such as the arrest of Hurriyat leadership and a rise in so-called cordon and search operations that have contributed to death of civilians.
Faisal said such steps only expose the falsity of Indian claims and would not quell their struggle for self-determination.