By Muhammad Luqman
At least 17 Kashmiri youth were killed after Indian troops conducted cordon and search operations in occupied valley’s Islamabad (Anantnag) and Shopian districts, according to the news agency,Kashmir Media Service.
The encounters, which began late on Saturday, ended in Peth Dialgam area of Anantnag in the Southern part of the Indian-ruled Kashmir Sunday morning but were continuing in Dragad and Kachdoora villages of Shopian, Indian media reported.
Two civilians, identified as Jan Mohammad Lone and Zubair Ahmad Butt, succumbed to their injuries in hospital. Jan Muhammad Lone was a resident of Braipora, Shopian, while Zubair Ahmad Butt belonged to Gopalpora, Kulgam.
Earlier, forces killed a youth identified as Rouf Bashir Khanday in an overnight operation at Dialgam in Islamabad district.
Names of some other martyred youth include Yawar Itoo, Nazim Nazir, Adil Thokar, Ubair Shafi Malla, Rais Thokar, Ishafaq Malik and Zubair Turay.
Moreover, around 100 civilians were injured when Indian forces used brute force and fired pellets and bullets on protesters in Dragad and Kachdora areas.
Medical Superintendent (MS) District Hospital Shopian, Dr Shafat informed media that they received over 50 injured. Many of them were shifted to Srinagar hospitals for further treatment.
“We are unable to maintain the record of the injured because of the heavy rush,” Dr Shafat said.
Following the brutal operation, the Kashmiri organizations have given a call for a two-day shutdown across the territory.
Call for the strike has been given by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik against the killings.
Meanwhile, scores of students of Kashmir University (KU) staged a protest demonstration at Zakura campus in Srinagar against the killings in Shopian and Islamabad. Shouting pro-Azadi and anti-India slogans, the protesting students carried banners reading, ‘End Occupation, Free Kashmir’.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Sunday evening condemned the martyrdom of the Kashmiris at the hands of Indian forces and said the families of those martyrs had been destroyed due to the aggression.
It further said that the Indian forces were continuing a crackdown on the unarmed protesters in occupied Kashmir and India had suspended internet connectivity to drown the voices of people.
“India is playing the part of a court, lawyer, and executioner for the mass execution of Kashmiris,” Foreign Office statement concluded.