SRINAGAR: A curfew imposed throughout Indian occupied Kashmir entered its fifth day on Tuesday as tensions escalate following the Pulwama attack.
The death toll from Monday’s gun battle rose to four as Indian forces continued to clamp down in the occupied valley. The Kashmiris were martyred by Indian troops during a search operation in Pinglena area of the district.
It was reported that the killings led to clashes between the protesters and troops in the area. Five Indian troops, including an officer, were killed in an attack in the same area.
Meanwhile, at least 6,000 Kashmiri Muslims have taken refuge in mosques across the occupied valley fearing attacks by Hindu mobs.
According to Kashmir Media Service, Abdul Majid, a member of Makkah Masjid Committee Bathinda said, “Around 2,500 to 3,000 people are seeking shelter in his mosque.”
Following this, Amnesty International urged the Indian government to ensure that Kashmiri men and women do not face targeted attacks, harassment and arbitrary arrests in the aftermath of Pulwama blast.
Amnesty India head Aakar Patel in a statement said, “Kashmiri University students and traders in northern Indian states, primarily Uttarakhand, Haryana and Bihar have been beaten, threatened and intimidated by Hindu nationalist groups.”
In Srinagar, scores of employees under the banner of Employees Joint Consultative Committee (EJCC) staged a protest against the harassment and assault of Kashmiris in Jammu and inside India.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the members of EJCC assembled at Press Colony in Srinagar to protest.
“Kashmiris, including employees, students and businessmen are being harassed and their properties vandalized on daily basis. We won’t tolerate this. We want miscreants acting at the behest of some political parties to be punished,” said EJCC President Aijaz Khan.
“On Sunday, a petrol bomb was hurled at the quarters of employees in Jammu. We strongly condemn this. What kind of curfew is in place in Jammu where [Hindu] goons have been given a free hand?” he said.
The employees said that they believe in communal harmony and have always made the safety of non-Kashmiris a priority in the valley and have asked the governor and Indian Home Minister to intervene and ensure the safety of Kashmiris living outside.
Meanwhile, J&K Clerical Staff Association also staged a protest at Press Colony demanding protection to move employees in Jammu.
At least 49 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and many others injured when suspected militants targeted a convoy with a car bomb at Awantipora in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Thursday, in what is the worst attack ever on security personnel in the state.
The car bomb attack was reportedly claimed by militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad and carried out by a 20-year-old Kashmiri man.
India has accused Pakistan of facilitating the attack as tensions between the two countries escalated and India announced it would withdraw Pakistan’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status. However, Pakistan has denied all allegations of terror financing.