Kashmiris observe shutdown of occupied valley against mob attacks

SRINAGAR: A complete shutdown is being observed in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) today to mark protests against attacks by Hindu mobs on Kashmiris in the valley.

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According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), the call for strike was given by trade bodies such as the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Forum and Kashmir Economic Alliance in the occupied valley.

All shops and business establishments have been closed and public transport is off the roads due to the strike.

On the other hand, Indian occupied forces have suspended mobile and internet service in most parts of the valley and strict restrictions have been imposed to prevent any protests.

At least 44 Indian paramilitary soldiers were killed on Thursday in Srinagar-Jammu Highway in Awantipora area of Pulwama district. The soldiers were killed when an improvised explosive device (IED) went off as a convoy of military vehicles drove by, some 20 kilometres from the main city of Srinagar.

Following the Pulwama attack, Kashmiris have been targeted in IoK by Indian security forces and Hindu extremists.

More than 2,000 people have taken shelter in a mosque in the Bathindi district fearing attacks from Hindu extremists, KMS reported.

A resident of Bhatindi, Nouman Manzoor, said, “Over 2,000 people are stationed at Makkah Masjid in Bathindi right now and more people are pouring in. These include stranded Kashmir-bound passengers and people living in sensitive zones of Jammu district.”

Abdul Majid, a resident of Ganderbal district in Kashmir Valley, said, “I am part of a group comprising around 700 people and we had gone to visit Ajmer in 15-16 buses. We returned a couple of days ago, but as the Jammu-Srinagar highway was shut, we were putting up at Narwal.”

“On Friday, a group of Hindu hooligans came to the area and pelted stones on us. They damaged our buses and misbehaved with us. Fearing violence, we came to Bathindi, last night,” he added.

Saddam Hussain, another resident of Bathindi, said, “Around 2,000 people are putting up at Mecca Masjid right now, with more pouring in from all quarters.”

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