Kashmir on fire as protests over killing of Kashmiri leader surprise Indian authorities

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WASHINGTON, July 22 (APP) –Kashmir’s fury at Indian rule is not something new, but the latest wave of protests has surprised  authorities who did not expect the killing of a Kashmiri

leader would trigger renewed struggle for separation from the Indian  rule, a news report published in the US media said on Friday.

News about the ongoing protests in Kashmir continues to occupy  space in the US media despite an hectic political season which  has peaked with both Democratic and Republican parties  nominating their candidates for the White House.

The US government has expressed concern over the killings
in the occupied valley and protests have been held in major
cities against the Indian brutalities and suppression of
the valiant Kashmiri struggle.

The report traced the roots of the problem to the
‘broken promise’ of referendum that was made to the Kashmiri

people shortly after the independence of the sub-continent in 1947.

There have been several phases of freedom struggle since, the most  serious one in 1989.

The occupied valley is under fire since a curfew was imposed
to quell widespread protests which broke out after Indian forces  killed the young Kashmiri leader on July 9. Dozens of
people, including women and children have been killed and hundreds  of others wounded by Indian soldiers and police.
The report in the Washington Post explained how the life has come  to a standstill in the held-valley where people have been virtually locked in their house due to daylong curfew.

Sheikh Naseer Ahmed, a resident of Srinagar, is getting married.

He had arranged to feast 500 people and some 20 chefs had been hired  to cook meal for the guests. That was done a few months ago.

All  that has been cancelled.

His home looks like anyone else’s. There are no floral
or light decorations, no hustle and bustle. Only close relatives
are invited to the modest meal that is being prepared.

This is because shortly after dawn, police and  paramilitary soldiers, in full riot gear and armed with  automatic rifles, swiftly occupy the roads and streets.

They  set up checkpoints, and lay steel barricades and razor wire at all  the entry and exit points.

“Shops are shuttered and public movement restricted. Getting  food and medicine is a struggle. Dozens of feasts and celebrations  have been canceled,” the report said.

“How can we feast and celebrate when so many people are
being killed?” Ahmed was quoted as saying by the report.

The report said that such restrictions and lock downs are not
new to the people of Kashmir which has witnessed several
uprisings against Indian rule, especially in the past decade.

While people are trying to manage to get their food,
communication and information blackout has added to the hardships.

According to the report, authorities have suspended
mobile phone services and internet services and several
publications have been banned.

The report said that “every new killing has further
enraged residents, sparking more protests and clashes.”