Two Indian policemen killed in IOK

Friday – May 22, 2020
SRINAGAR (India): In Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK), two Indian policemen were killed in an attack in Pulwama district, Thursday.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), unidentified gunmen attacked a joint party of Indian police and paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) in Prichoo area of the district, resulting in killing of two policemen.

Soon after the attack, Indian police and troops cordoned off the area and launched searches to nab the attackers.

Meanwhile, Indian forces’ personnel during cordon and search operations (CASOs) arrested 7 youth in Badgam and Kupwara areas.

Separately, Indian police registered a first information report (FIR) against the people who are raising donations for the families whose houses were destroyed by Indian troops during a CASO in Nawakadal area of Srinagar.

The troops had killed top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), Junaid Sehrai, along with his associate, Tariq Ahmed, and destroyed at least 17 houses during the operation in Nawakadal on Tuesday.

A local resident who is managing the things for the affected families told media that he received calls from the police and was informed that an FIR has been registered against him for helping the sympathisers of mujahideen.

Masjid committee account number that was publicised may get frozen due to international transactions.

Locals have appealed that Kashmiris living outside the occupied territory wishing to help the affected people should be able to transfer the money into the accounts of their own families to be then handed over in person.

Meanwhile in New Delhi, the concerned citizens group (CCG), led by former Indian minister and bharatiya janata party (BJP) leader, Yashwant Sinha, has said that the Narendra Modi-led Indian government is using coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown to further its agenda in occupied Kashmir.

The CCG members, Yashwant Sinha, Wajahat Habibullah, Kapil Kak, Bharat Bhushan and Sushobha Barve in a statement issued in New Delhi said that the Modi government was using the opportunity of the lockdown to implement domicile laws in the occupied territory.

The statement said that the situation in Kashmir was far from normal as political leaders, including former chief minister of the territory, continued to remain under detention, communication lockdown continued, the economy was in disarray and the media was facing harassment.

The situation is unlikely to take a positive turn in the months ahead, it added.

The CCG called for release of all illegally detained political prisoners ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, restoration of high speed internet, an end to the intimidation of accredited media persons and announcement of specific financial packages for the artisans and extending bank loan deferment and facilities to the Kashmiri businesses like the rest of India.

It further said that occupied Kashmir continued to be in a social, economic, political and communication lockdown since August 5, 2019, when the Indian government repealed its special status and the lockdown imposed by the authorities was now doubly reinforced by the coronavirus pandemic.

The CCG also called for unfettered market access and adequate distribution channels for horticultural produce, adherence to laid down health protocols to alleviate people’s fears about returning to Kashmir and to ensure healthcare facilities remain ahead of the coronavirus curve in the territory.

“Meanwhile, there are attempts to incubate artificial political processes – through village and local body elections and facilitating the launch of a new political party. However, these processes have failed to fill the political vacuum,” the CCG said.

“Artisans face distress and dealers in handicrafts are unable to function with piling up of stocks. No relief measures have been announced for them. Unlike in the rest of India, there has been no deferment/staggering of bank loans in Jammu and Kashmir (JK),” it added.

The CCG also pointed out lack of healthcare infrastructure to deal with coronavirus pandemic in occupied Kashmir. It said that an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 people had returned to Kashmir and those infected could easily overwhelm the meagre health facilities.