At least 23 people have been killed and more than 800 people injured over the past two days in Kashmir after protests erupted following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, reported PTI. Protestors pushed a police van into the Jhelum river killing the policeman inside the vehicle. The Amarnath yatra reportedly resumed, after it was suspended on Saturday.
On Monday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah about the situation in the Valley, reported PTI. This comes a day after Singh spoke to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and assured her of help from the Centre to deal with the situation in the state, according to The Indian Express.
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said, “We are really surprised that some people are trying to support the so-called protesters who are sympathising with the terrorist. He is a Hizbul Mujahideen commander, how can any Indian have sympathy for such people?” Wani was gunned down by Indian forces in Anantnag on Friday.
An angry mob set fire to a barrack of the Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force at Bijbehara railway station, a police post at Damhal Khushipora and a building in Soibugh, Budgam. Incidents of violence were reported from Pulwama, Shopian, Lassipora, Rajpora, Litter, Pampore, Damhal, Sangam, Zainpoea, Qaimoh, Yaripoea, Bijbehara, Vailoo, Sopore, Baramulla, Kupwara and Tarzoo. The Centre deployed 800 more Central Reserve Police Force personnel in the state on Monday.
"During law-and-order situations at Newa, Lasipora and Litter in Pulwama, three persons were injured and later succumbed to their injuries. One police vehicle and some seized vehicles were set on fire at Lasipora Pulwama when arsonists attacked the police post," local police said in a statement.
State Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said, “The Cabinet unanimously appeals to all political stakeholders and parties to help the government bring back normalcy as soon as possible. We appeal to all shades of political forces who have expressed concern over the loss of lives. We appeal to the mainstream political parties – National Conference, Congress, CPM and the independent legislators. And also to those who are not in the mainstream and are really concerned about these killings… if they want peace to return to the Valley, they should support us.”
Akhtar said the government will look into allegations of excessive force used by the security personnel against protestors. However, he pointed out that the administration have been forced to act tough as people attacked police personnel, pelted stones, and destroyed public property across the state.
On Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed shock at the killing of Burhan Wani and other civilian deaths in Jammu and Kashmir. He also expressed his concern over the detention of Kashmiri leadership in what he referred to as Indian occupied Kashmir, reported ANI.