Monday October 22, 2018
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Kashmir on fire: 7 big developments in the Masarat Alam case so far

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Amid the tense environment after the arrest of Kashmir separatist leader, Masarat Alam, the streets of valley witnessed pitched battles on Friday  when supporters of the Hurriyat Conference confronted the police. The clash led to about a dozen of people being injured and a death of a youth in Narbal.

It is notable that Masarat is accused of organising stone-throwing protests in Jammu and Kashmir in 2010, in which over 100 people were killed.

Let’s have a look at the seven bigger developments in the controversy so far:

  1. After the waving of Pakistan flags in a rally in the valley, a court in Budgam on Friday night ordered seven days police custody for Masarat Alam. His arrest fumed his supporters that led to turmoil in the valley.

  2. Just after the Friday prayers, protesters started to throw stones at the security forces. The clashes led Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to appeal for peaceful protests.

  3. After the killing of a teenager in Tral, Umar denounced the government and commanded an inquiry.

  4. The confidant of Alam, Sayyed Ali Shah Geelani was also stopped from carrying out a march on Friday amidst the tense environment in Tral. The controversial rally carried out on Wednesday was said to be Geelani’s welcome party in the valley after his return from Delhi.

  5. While Alam was taken by police into custody, the hardliner said that,  “Arrest is nothing new for us… this is not happening for the first time. This detention will not deter us.”

  6. Masarat’s controversial remarks and pro-Pakistan slogans raised in the valley attracted great furor in the country, which forced the Home Minister,  Rajnath Singh, to demand from Sayeed strict actions against Masarat.

  7. This forced the Sayeed government to take strict stand against the entire event. On the issue of Pakistani flags hoisted in the rally, Jammu and Kashmir CM said, “Democracy is a battle of ideas, they are free to have their own way, speak their mind. But something which is not acceptable, is not, will not be tolerated.”

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The Farmer’s Protest In Delhi Makes The Indian Police Take Severe Steps

The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party.

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Farmer protests
Police use water cannons to disperse farmers during a protest demanding better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

Indian police on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannons to halt and scatter a march by thousands of protesting farmers heading for the capital New Delhi to demand better prices for their produce.

Reeling from a crash in commodity prices, more than 50,000 farmers from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, a top producer of wheat and cane, blocked part of the main highway to the capital.

They also sought loan waivers, cheaper power and tougher action to get sugar mills to pay dues owed for their cane, as discontent in rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who faces tough general elections next year.

“Despite our repeated requests, the government has failed to help farmers in any meaningful ways,” a farm leader, Dharmendra Malik, told Reuters by telephone from the protest site.

farmers
Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

“Left with no choice, we’ve decided to march to Delhi to highlight our plight.”

Cash-strapped sugar companies owe cane growers about 135 billion rupees ($1.9 billion) in the current season. Saddled with huge piles of sugar and hit by a fall in prices, mills have said they are unable to pay farmers on time.

“The state government has initiated a number of steps to help farmers, including a clutch of measures to expedite cane payments to growers,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told video news agency ANI, a Reuters affiliate.

Mills are struggling to export sugar because of lower global prices, Adityanath said.

Television broadcast images of angry farmers clashing with police and driving their tractors into security barriers, in a protest that disrupted rush-hour traffic.

Farmers
Rural areas turns to anger against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. VOA

Some farmers were injured when police fired tear gas and water cannon to keep protesters from breaking through barricades to reach New Delhi, the site of events to mark the birth anniversary of India’s apostle of non violence, Mahatma Gandhi.

“It’s ironical that the farmers were brutally beaten on the day of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary,” opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said.

Farmers had started trickling into the city late on Monday, prompting authorities to bar gatherings of more than four people.

The government has allowed police to “brutally beat up” the farmers, said the opposition Congress party, which ruled India for most of its 70 years since independence from Britain, before losing power to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party.

Also Read: Asian Farms Tackle Drug Resistance with Apps and Dictionary

“Can India’s farmers not come and tell their own government that they are in deep pain?” asked Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.

Modi’s rural woes have been worsened by a failure to deliver on a promise of tens of millions of jobs for young people that helped him win the largest mandate in three decades in 2014. (VOA)