Kashmir unrest: Death toll rises to 51, Geelani leads graffiti protest

  • Abhishek Saha, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Aug 01, 2016 20:19 IST
Senior separatist leader of the hardliner faction of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) Syed Ali Shah Geelani, center, with supporters outside his house in Srinagar. (AP File Photo)

A 45-year-old man injured in clashes in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district a few days earlier died on Monday in a Srinagar hospital, taking the death toll to at least 51.

In violent clashes in the aftermath of the killing of Hizbul Mujahedeen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8, more than 5,600 people have been injured.

Read | Treat Kashmiris as own people: J-K HC raps Centre on pellet gun injuries

The Valley remained shut for the 24th straight day with curfew and restrictions in place and the separatist leadership’s call for shutdown.

Senior separatist leader and chief of the hardliner Hurriyat faction, Syed Ali Shah Geelani led a graffiti drawing campaign.

Geelani came out of his home at Hyderpora in Srinagar — where he is under house-arrest — and joined others in writing pro-freedom slogans on walls. In a photo being widely shared on social media, Geelani is seen writing “Go India Go Back” in dark red ink.

The united resistance leadership in its latest protests schedule had asked people to write slogans such as “We want Freedom”, “Freedom for all, Freedom for Jammu Kashmir”, “Hum Kya Chata Hain Azadi” on roads, walls and shutters of shops.

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Intense clashes between residents and security forces were reported from certain parts of the Valley, and sources said pellet injuries were reported in an incident in Qazigund area of south Kashmir.

A group of doctors also protested at the SKIMS Medical College and Hospital at Bemina in Srinagar, demanding an end to the human rights violations on Kashmiris with placards proclaiming “We want Freedom”.

Shops, schools, colleges, business establishments and private offices remained closed while public transport remained off the roads. But in Srinagar, many privately-owned cars and bikes could be seen on the roads.

Mobile internet services and outgoing calls on prepaid services continued to remain snapped.

The separatist camp has extended the shutdown call in Kashmir till August 5, calling for a march to Hazratbal shrine on Friday.

In another incident, a video of a masked man surrounded by hundreds of people shouting pro-Kashmiri freedom slogans at a rally in south Kashmir created a stir with many identifying him as Abu Dujan, a top commander of Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Police refused to confirm the man’s identity but unconfirmed reports claimed many militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen were spotted at the rally in Pulwama district. Pakistani flags were waved and pro-militant slogans were allegedly also shouted at the rally.

“We are looking into the matter,” an official said about the incident.

Read | Lashkar militant at Pulwama protest rally? Police refuse to confirm

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