UN voices concern over deteriorating situation in occupied Kashmir

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UNITED NATIONS, March 30 (APP): The United Nations
Thursday expressed concern over the situation in the Indian
occupied Kashmir where deadly clashes between protesting civilians and government security forces were continuing to take place.
“The basic point is we have concerns about the situation in
Kashmir. We do monitor the situation and we have different
levels of contacts with governments of India and of Pakistan,”
Farhan Haq, the UN Secretary-General’s Deputy spokesman, said in
response to a question by a Pakistani journalist at the
regular noon briefing.
Three civilians were killed and 28 others injured in
anti-India protests that erupted Tuesday following a gunbattle between
militants in occupied Kashmir, according to international media reports.
The gunbattle began after police and soldiers cordoned off
the southern town of Chadoora following a tip that at least one
militant was hiding in a house, Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani was quoted as saying in the reports.
As the fighting raged, hundreds of residents chanting
anti-India slogans marched near the area in an attempt to help the trapped rebel escape.
Citing witnesses, the reports said intense clashes
between rock-throwing protesters and government forces erupted just
a few hundred meters from the besieged house, with police
and paramilitary soldiers firing shotgun pellets and tear gas to
crush the protest.
Pressed for comment, Farhan, the deputy spokesman, said, “At
this stage, this is one of the situations around the world that
we monitor with concern”
Asked why Secretary-General Antonio Guterres does make a trip
to the region like he was visiting the Iraqi city of Mosul, Haq ,
said, “He can pay attention without necessarily visiting. You
are right that the place he is visiting right now, today, is Iraq.
Even when he does not visit countries, though, he is aware of
the problems there and we have, as you know, we have many
levels of officials, including country level officials who are there
to deal with the various problems that arise.”
Over 130 people have been killed while more than 14,000
have sustained injuries during the uprising which erupted on July
9 last year, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander, Burhan
Muzaffar Wani, was martyred by the Indian occupation troops.
More than 750 people have sustained pellet injuries, with a
majority of them on the verge of losing eyesight partially
or completely.