Refugees' issue: JKLF rally foiled in Srinagar, several injured

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Srinagar
  • Updated: Jan 16, 2015 23:25 IST

The security forces on Friday foiled a protest march of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), opposing the Union government's move to grant citizenship rights to West Pakistan (WP) refugees in Jammu and Kashmir.

Heavy contingent of police and CRPF personnel detained JKLF chief Yasin Malik when his supporters tried to march towards the commercial hub Lal Chowk immediately after Friday prayers.

"We will defend the special status of Jammu and Kashmir even at the cost of our lives and fight all those forces who want to change demography of Jammu Kashmir and turn Muslim majority into a minority," said Malik, while he was being detained.

Several separatist and mainstream parties are opposing the Union home ministry's fresh orders to grant more job rights to West Pakistan refugees residing in the state. The granting of more rights comes after a Joint Parliamentary Commission recommendations, which include suggestion to grant voting rights, too, to around three lakh refugees.

"The protest rally was taken out against the proposal of granting permanent citizenship of Jammu Kashmir to refugees from West Pakistan," said Malik.

However, the security forces used force and lobbed tear smoke shells to quell the protesters' march near Budshah Chowk.

Association of Parents of Disappeared People (APDP) Parveena Ahangar, who also participated in the rally, was hospitalised after she fell unconscious during the security forces' action. Her condition is said to be stable now.

The JKLF alleged that baton and shells injured around a dozen of its supporters. "Two JKLF a supporters were injured after being hit by tear shells in the head," alleged JKLF a spokesman.

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