One protestor was killed and at least five more were injured following clashes between civilians and security forces at Sopore in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday, The Tribune reported. The incident took place after forces opened fire on the protestors at Ladoora, police officials said.
However, conflicting reports emerged about the nature of the clash, with police officials saying that Army personnel retaliated after protestors pelted their convoy, and locals claiming that security forces conducted raids in Ladoora and opened fire on demonstrators there. Protests were also held at Sopore’s fruit market over accusations that security forces did not let sellers there conduct transactions early this morning. Clashes also took place between police personnel and protestors in Srinagar after curfew was lifted across the entire Valley.
The Valley has now seen 54 days of protests and demonstrations following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani. At least 71 people have been killed and thousands other injured, with curfew being imposed days and mobile services being barred in the region since July 8. Official data revealed that 51% of those injured in the ongoing crisis have been hit by pellets fired from pump action guns. Both state and central governments have called for an end to the unrest, with opposition parties leading delegations to President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge them to intervene. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will lead an all-party delegation to the state on September 4.
Meanwhile, the crisis has also triggered an ongoing row between India and Pakistan. After Islamabad dedicated its Independence Day to the “freedom of Kashmir”, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi brought up alleged human rights violations in the Pakistani province of Balochistan during his Independence Day remarks. Later, Pakistan told the United Nations Security Council that it “deplored the lethal use of force” by Indian forces in the Valley, even as New Delhi called its neighbour a “prime perpetrator” of terrorism in the region.
Separately, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has appealed to both countries for independent access to Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to examine the “recent allegations of serious human rights violations” there.