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Curfew lifted from IHK After 17 days

27 July, 2016

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SRINAGAR: Authorities lifted a curfew in Srinagar on Tuesday after 17 days of lockdown, but protesters continued to clash with police in the main city of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) following two weeks of deadly violence.

“There will be no restrictions in any part of district Srinagar today on 26 July,” top administrative official Farooq Ahmad Lone said in a statement.

It was unclear whether the lifting of the curfew was simply a temporary move to allow angry protesters some relief.

On the other hand, Indian troops, in their fresh act of state terrorism, martyred four Kashmiri youths in Kupwara district. The troops killed the youngsters during a siege and search operation in Nawgam area of the district.

The Indian Army claimed that the youth were militants and killed in an encounter with the troops. One youth was arrested, while an Indian soldier was also killed in the same area.

Meanwhile, mobile and Internet networks remained suspended in Srinagar and across the restive territory, while a curfew was still in force in southern areas. Hundreds of angry residents rallied in the city on Tuesday to protest against the Indian rule, shouting slogans for freedom and clashing with police who fired teargas canisters to disperse them, a witness said. Shops, schools and businesses remained shut in the city, while vehicles were off the roads.

Separatist leaders have extended an ongoing strike to Saturday, but have appealed to shopkeepers to open for a few hours each day to allow people to buy essential supplies. “We will open shops after 2pm,” Umer Ahmed, a shopkeeper in the old quarter of Srinagar, told AFP. The unrest was triggered by the brutal killing of popular young leader Burhan Wani on July 8. The wide-scale protests in the region have also left thousands injured.

Meanwhile, instead of opening political negotiations, India continues to “unabashedly” use military force in the Occupied Kashmir to maintain a status quo that for years has suffocated millions in the region, according to an op-ed published in influential New York Times.

The op-ed “Kashmir, and the inheritance of loss” narrates horrific stories of Indian brutalities committed during widespread protests triggered by the killing of young Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Wani. Wani became an Internet sensation over the past year after he gathered a small band of mostly teenage Kashmiri freedom fighters and used social media to challenge the Indian government. “A dozen boys with a few guns, they were no threat to the Indian Army, one of the largest in the world,” the op-ed stated, adding that there was no record of Burhan and his small group carrying out any attack. It was “symbolic” against occupation of Kashmir where about half a million of Indian soldiers are stationed.

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