After relative calm since the Assembly polls in December, pro-freedom calls returned to Kashmir this week.
On Saturday, demonstrations and clashes between police and protestors filled the streets of a paralysed Kashmir for the sixth day. Several were injured as protestors clashed with police and CRPF at Nowhatta, Jamia Masjid, Rajouri Kadal, Nowgam, Chanpora and Manchwa areas.
This time, it began with the alleged rape and murder of two women in Shopian town, 60 kilometres south of Srinagar.
Nelofar (23) and her sister-in-law Asiya (17) went missing on the evening of May 29. Their bodies were recovered from a nearby stream on May 30.
Police and administration said the women had drowned but residents and relatives of the women accused security force personnel of raping and killing them.
The bodies were found just yards away from a CRPF formation and the headquarters of district police lines. The headquarters of district police lines is also located in the vicinity.
Nelofar’s husband, Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar, said, “The bodies were recovered on the edge of the stream, not from the water. Both the bodies were half-naked and they had bruises all over.”
The deaths provoked massive protests in the town, which later spilled over the other parts of the Valley.
Separatist leaders called for total shutdown on June 1 and demanded that Indian troops be withdrawn from Kashmir. The call found takers all across the valley with massive violent protests in favour of azadi and against India.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who faced severe flak for saying the women were not raped and murdered, has ordered a judicial probe.
With Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani calling for continued demonstrations and protest marches on Saturday, the uncertain situation is likely to continue in Kashmir.
Several separatist leaders were also arrested on Saturday.