In occupied Kashmir, Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred 8 more Kashmiri youth in South Kashmir, today, raising the toll to 18 in the past three days.
Six youth were killed by the troops during cordon and search operations and firing on protesters at Batagund in Kapran area of Shopian district, today morning. Bodies of the youth were recovered from the debris of a house destroyed by the troops during the operation. Another youth identified as a 10th class student, Nauman Ashraf Butt, was killed in the troops’ firing on the people protesting against the killings. The firing left many protesters injured including a five-year-old female baby. At least, 15 critically injured were admitted to different hospitals in Shopian, Kulgam and Srinagar. The troops killed one more youth in Khrew area of Pulwama district. The authorities suspended internet services in South Kashmir. In the meantime, an Indian army man was killed and another was injured in an attack in Kapran area of Shopian district.
Thousands of people participated in funeral prayers of the martyred youth in different areas of the territory. A sea of people poured in from several villages of South Kashmir to attend the last rites of the 10th class student, Nouman Ashraf Butt. Amid pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, Nouman was laid to rest in his native Bolsoo village in Kulgam district. The students of Kashmir University offered funeral prayers in absentia for the martyred youth. The students assembled in the university campus in Srinagar and raised pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
Meanwhile, the Joint Resistance Leadership in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, called for a complete shutdown across the territory, tomorrow, to condemn the fresh spree of killings. The leadership deplored that India had no compunction in allowing such inhumanity to continue by giving unbridled powers to its forces in Kashmir. It pointed out that the killing of more than 400 Kashmiris in less than a year clearly reflected that Indian believed in a policy of military might.
Hurriyat leaders and organizations including Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Syed Agha Hassan Al-Moosvi Al-Safvi, Muhamamd Yousuf Naqash, Zafar Akbar Butt, Muhammad Musaddiq Aadil, Yasmeen Raja, Imtiaz Ahmad Reshi, Muhammad Farooq Rehman, Abdul Majeed Tramboo, Democratic Freedom Party and Ummat-e-Islami in their separate statements denounced the Shopian killings.
On the other hand, veteran Kashmiri journalist, Yousuf Jameel, speaking at an event organized by Kashmir Press Club in Srinagar said that Jammu and Kashmir was one of the most challenging places for journalists to report from as the authorities were using different tactics to curb press freedom.