Indian-controlled Kashmir turns into a prison; Second day of curfew

One of the injured, Mohammad Amin, from Ramban at a Srinagar hospital. Photograph by Shahid Tantray
One of the injured, Mohammad Amin, from Ramban at a Srinagar hospital. Photograph by Shahid Tantray

Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir

Curfew continues on second day throughout the Indian-controlled Kashmir on Saturday after six unarmed civilians were killed and forty-five injured when Border Security Force (BSF) of India opened fire on protesters in Ramban district of Jammu division. The people are calling it a “massacre”, seeing it alike the 13 July 1931 massacre in which Dogra troopers had opened fire at civilians.

Roads and bridges are blocked by barbed wire barricades and the heavy deployment of paramilitary forces and police is strictly imposing the curfew. No civilian is allowed to move out, even reportedly people who had to visit hospitals or doctors were not allowed at various places. A photojournalist, Showkat Nanda, from North Kashmir had this to say on Facebook:

This morning my mother complained of severe chest pain (remember she have had two major heart attacks before). When we reached a checkpoint [while taking her to the hospital] on one of the four bridges which connect downtown Baramulla with civil lines, Indian soldiers and their stooges in Kashmir didn’t allow our car to cross the bridge…I pleaded with them to allow us to cross the checkpoint frantically shouting, “She’ll die” but they simply didn’t care…Finally it took us an hour more to reach the hospital than what would normally have taken us with my mom walking almost half a kilometer on foot…Alhamdulillah she’s fine now…

In Ramban protests had started when forces had entered a madrassa (seminary) and according to the locals desecrated the Holy Quran. People gathered near the spot, chanting slogans and marched on a road, passing through a BSF camp. On reaching near the camp, the troops opened fire on them, killing six and injuring forty-five others.

The civilian killings sparked protests throughout the valley and the pro-freedom groups called for a three day strike. On Friday around thirty-eight people got injured at various places of the valley during clashes with the forces.

All the educational institutes, business establishments and the Srinagar-Jammu national highway are closed; the examinations in universities and state board have been postponed.

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