Cop ‘lynched’, civilians killed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Why did violent protests break out in PoK? | World News - Hindustan Times

Cop ‘lynched’, civilians killed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Why did violent protests break out in PoK?

By | Written by Vaishnawi Sinha | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar
May 12, 2024 09:30 AM IST

Protests in PoK: Violent clashes broke out in parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, with police cracking down on protestors in Muzaffarabad.

Protests in PoK: Tensions remain high in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as normal life and business were disrupted after clashes broke out between protesters and security forces on Saturday. Markets, schools and offices remained closed for the second straight day in Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) after bouts of violence erupted in Muzaffarabad.

Protests erupt in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Photo - ANI)
Protests erupt in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (Photo - ANI)

The Awami Action Committee (AAC) carried out protests in parts of PoK against inflation on Friday, which led to a massive crackdown by Pakistani security forces, reported local media. A wheel-jam and shutter-down strike in Muzaffarabad brought the city to a standstill on May 10, with the AAC vowing to carry out more protests against the disruption of their peaceful demonstrations.

On Friday, the AAC called for a peaceful protest against high taxes, electricity bills and the sudden rise in inflation. Clashes erupted when the police resorted to tear gas shelling around peoples' homes and mosques, the Dawn reported.

This led to strikes being called across multiple parts of PoK such as Samahni, Sehansa, Mirpur, Rawalakot, Khuiratta, Tattapani, and Hattian Bala.

What is happening in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir?

On Friday, the Awami Action Committee led a series of peaceful marches to PoK's Muzaffarabad, protesting against “unjust” taxes imposed on electricity bills, which led to skyrocketing inflation. The protests soon turned violent when demonstrators and the police clashed near Islam Garh, reported Geo News.

The AAC called for a shutter-down and wheel-jam protest in Muzaffarabad, leading to a standstill in business. Police put barricades across roads leading to the city to stop the marchers, which led to clashes. The committee later called for a strike on Saturday when the police arrested multiple leaders and activists during overnight raids.

While the PoK government imposed Section 144 in the area, shutting down educational institutes and offices on May 10 and 11, people came out in thousands on Saturday in all the districts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Videos and photos on social media showed police using their batons on protestors, attempting to disperse the crowd using tear gas. Geo News reported that dozens of police personnel and protestors were left injured on Friday after violent clashes.

PoK activist Amjad Ayub Mirza said Pakistani forces are shooting at unarmed civilians, and at least two have been killed in the clashes, reported ANI. He also said that one police SHO was killed in the violence, reportedly lynched by protesters.

Mirza called for an intervention by the Indian government, saying that the situation is getting out of hand and the Centre “cannot remain aloof.” He said, “Situation is getting out of hand. It already is actually out of hand. and India now should focus all its attention on Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and help and facilitate the independence of this occupied territory, including Gilgit-Baltistan.”

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