In occupied Kashmir, massive protests were held in all major towns of the territory, today, against the killing of four civilians by the Indian troops in Khudwani area of Kulgam while several people were injured due to the use of brute force by the troops on the protesters.
Call for the demonstrations was given by the Joint Resistance Leadership and it was also aimed at demanding justice for eight-year-old girl Aasifa, who was raped and murdered in Kathua area of Jammu by the people affiliated with extremist Hindu groups and Special Police Officers of Indian police.
People took to the streets in Srinagar, Badgam, Ganderbal, Shopian, Islamabad, Pulwama, Kupwara, Baramulla and other areas raising high-pitched pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Indian troops and police personnel fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protesters at various places, injuring many of them. People also offered funeral prayers in absentia in Pampore and other areas for the martyrs. The traders of Khanyar area of Srinagar assembled near Dastageer Sahab (RA) Shrine and staged a protest demanding punishment to the rapists and killers of the minor girl in Kathua.
The puppet authorities continued to impose restrictions in Srinagar, Kulgam, Shopian, Pulwama, Islamabad and other areas and deployed Indian troops and police personnel in the entire Kashmir Valley to prevent people from staging demonstrations. The Jamia Masjid of Srinagar was sealed and people were not allowed to offer Juma prayers at the historic mosque. The authorities also continued to suspend mobile internet services in various parts of the Kashmir Valley.
The puppet administration kept Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash, Ghulam Ahmed Gulzar, Bilal Siddiqi, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Hilal Ahmed War, Zafar Akbar Butt, Javaid Ahmed Mir and other Hurriyat leaders under house arrest or in custody to stop them from leading the protests. Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a statement strongly denounced the puppet authorities for imposing restrictions and disallowing people from offering Juma prayers at Srinagar Jamia Masjid.
Meanwhile, complete shutdown was observed in North and South Kashmir and in Bhaderwah, Kishtwar and Banehal areas of Jammu region against the killings. People also staged pro-freedom demonstrations in Banihal. Delegations of different pro-freedom organizations including Democratic Freedom Party visited Khudwani and expressed solidarity with the families of the martyred civilians.
On the other hand, prominent global rights bodies, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in their statements assailed the lawyers and right-wing groups for introducing religious prejudices into the investigation of Aasifa rape and murder case.