Death toll climbs to 36 in Kashmir clashes
SRNAGAR (92 News) – The death toll in the latest intifada triggered by the killing of the top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Burhan Muzaffar Wani climbed to 36.
Protests on fourth day continued across Kashmir Valley and over 1,500 have been injured so far during the ongoing clashes.
Doctors were struggling to care for hundreds of civilians who have been admitted to hospitals with bullet and pellet wounds. Across the region, shops were shuttered, businesses closed, and cellphone and mobile Internet services were suspended.
Thousands thronged Tral town, despite restrictions, to participate in the memorial service for rebel leader Burhan Wani, whose killing on July 8 by Indian police triggered the outbreak of protests. They shouted pro-freedom and anti-India slogans, and displayed banners like “Burhan, the pride of nation.” Wani had been a poster boy for the separatist cause.
Protests erupted on Saturday over the killing of Burhan Wani, a charismatic young Hurriyet leader from Kashmir who was shot dead by Indian security forces the previous day.
Tens of thousands attended Wani’s funeral march from 5am on Saturday in his hometown of Tral, despite police warnings to stay at home, and street protests quickly spread across the valley. In ensuing clashes, security forces fired live ammunition at protesters.
Mobile phone networks have been shut down across the heavily militarized valley, while shops and offices are closed and public transport is suspended.
Amid fears of further escalation on Monday night, a grenade attack injured three policemen outside Srinigar, and another officer was taken hostage by a mob demanding the release of three youths arrested earlier for stone-throwing.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had condemned India’s crackdown on civilian protesters and resulting deaths, while he described Wani, 22, a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, as a “Kashmiri leader.”