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Kashmir Violence: Curfew and shutdown in Kashmir continues on 12th day

Two protesters were killed on July 18, when a violent mob attacked an army patrol in Qazigund area of Anantnag district

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Curfew in Kashmir continues for 14th day. Image Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com
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  • Two protesters were killed on Monday when a violent mob attacked an army patrol in Qazigund area of Anantnag district
  • Limited mobile phone connectivity is, however, available to subscribers on postpaid mobile phones provided by BSNL
  • Opposition National Conference, Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist and others have been invited to the meeting

While separatists extended the protest shutdown for another three days here in Jammu and Kashmir, authorities had decided to impose curfew in the Valley on Tuesday, July 19, for the 12th day.

A senior police officer told IANS curfew will continue in parts of the Valley for the 12th day running on Tuesday to maintain law and order.

Curfew in kashmir continues for 12th day. Image Source: www.scoopwhoop.com
Curfew in kashmir continues for the 12th day. Image Source: www.scoopwhoop.com

Two protesters were killed on Monday when a violent mob attacked an army patrol in Qazigund area of Anantnag district.

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Police said four other persons were injured in the firing incident.

At least 45 people, including 43 civilian protesters and two policemen, have been killed in the spiralling violence that began in the Valley after a Hizbul commander was killed along with two of his associates in a gunfight with the security forces on July 7.

Violence in Kashmir started after killing of Burhan Wani. Image Source: defence.pk
Violence in Kashmir started after killing of Burhan Wani. Image Source: defence.pk

Authorities have snapped all mobile Internet connectivity and also suspended calling facility on mobile phones across the Valley.

Limited mobile phone connectivity is, however, available to subscribers on postpaid mobile phones provided by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).

No vernacular or English language newspaper has been published in the Valley for the last three days.

Amitabh Mattoo, the advisor to the state Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, told media that the decision to ban publication of newspapers was not taken at the instance of the Chief Minister.

Mattoo said the decision was taken at “the local level and heads would soon roll for taking such a harsh decision”.

In a related development, the state government on Monday shifted Senior Superintendent of police (SSP) Badgam, Fayaz Ahmad as sources said he had been transferred for stopping the printing of some local newspapers whose establishments are situated in Badgam district.

Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed- CM of Jammu and Kashmir. Image Source: www.youthconnect.in
Mehbooba Mufti Sayeed- CM of Jammu and Kashmir. Image Source: www.youthconnect.in

Mufti has convened an all-party meeting in summer capital Srinagar on July 21 to discuss the prevailing law and order situation in the Valley.

Opposition National Conference, Congress, Communist Party of India-Marxist and others have been invited to the meeting.

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Addressing a meeting of senior bureaucrats in summer capital Srinagar on Monday, Mehbooba Mufti stressed the importance of opening educational institutions as soon as possible to protect the future of students.

Schools, colleges and universities have been closed by the authorities until July 25 because of the prevailing law and order situation in the Valley.

Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Image Source: www.youtube.com
Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Image Source: www.youtube.com

Meanwhile, the separatists including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik have announced an extension of the protest shutdown till Friday.

Security has been further tightened in the Valley as Pakistan government has announced to observe a “Black Day” on Tuesday to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. (IANS)

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Violence And Intimidation Directed Towards Rohingyas In Bangladesh Camps

Human Rights Watch warned in a report in August that the Bangladeshi government was restricting access to basic services by resisting attempts by aid agencies.

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Rohingya, Violence
Rohingya refugees carry a hume pipe in Balukhali refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

The failed attempt to send thousands of Rohingya back to Myanmar starting this month has drawn attention to alleged violence and intimidation by security forces against members of the Muslim minority living in Bangladesh’s sprawling refugee camps.

Bangladesh has boosted its international reputation by hosting more than 730,000 Rohingya who fled a vicious campaign by Myanmar’s military last year that U.N. investigators have labelled genocide – an accusation Myanmar has consistently denied.

But Bangladesh appears keen to demonstrate that Rohingya refugees will not be welcome there indefinitely. The planned repatriations sparked fear and chaos last week as Rohingya went into hiding – and in a handful of reported cases attempted suicide – to avoid being sent back.

Rohingya, myanmar, violence
Rohingya refugee children shout slogans during a protest against the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh. VOA

Meanwhile, allegations of sporadic beatings, looting and intimidation by Bangladeshi soldiers, police and camp officials have underscored the bleak conditions faced by Rohingya in their host country, where most are denied official refugee status and face restrictions on freedom of movement.

The repatriation of some 2,000 refugees was scheduled to begin last Thursday, but Bangladesh has now put the plans on hold until next year after failing to find any Rohingya willing to go back.

Rohingya in the camps have told VOA that soldiers were stationed near the homes of those who were told they would be sent back last week, fueling fears of forced repatriation and adding to widespread distress in communities already suffering extreme trauma after last year’s violence.

One Rohingya man told VOA anonymously that block leaders in the camps were also “announcing with loudspeakers… that it’s essential for everyone to carry ID with them whenever and wherever they go if they leave their homes.”

Late last month, security forces looted property from Rohingya shopkeepers at the Balukhali camp, said John Quinley, a human rights specialist with the non-profit organization Fortify Rights.

Rohingya, myanmar, violence
Rohingya refugees walk under rain clouds on June 26, 2018, in Jamtoli refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

“Right now the security forces are operating in the camps with total impunity,” he said.

In another case earlier this month, Fortify Rights reported that security forces rounded up 18 Rohingya leaders and slapped and hit some of them while telling them to instruct other refugees to cooperate with a new U.N.-backed project to provide them with “smart cards.”

Many Rohingya oppose the identity cards because they fear the information on them will be shared with the Myanmar government.

Bangladesh’s refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner, Abul Kalam, told VOA he was unaware of the allegations of violence but would follow up. “Generally, it is not acceptable that someone would apply force on or beat someone to do or not to do something,” he said.

Quinley called on the U.N.’s refugee agency to “do everything in their power to make sure that the Bangladeshi authorities are respecting human rights.”

Rohingya, myanmar, violence
An elderly Rohingya refugee holds a placard during a protest against the repatriation process at Unchiprang refugee camp near Cox’s Bazar, in Bangladesh.VOA

Spokesperson Caroline Gluck said the agency has notified the authorities of a “small number” of reports of violence related to the smart card project. The agency has “been following up with them to ascertain the circumstances of what happened,” she told VOA.

Officials have responded that the incidents were “not linked” to the smart card project, she said.

She added, “The new ID card will enable refugees to be better protected and will streamline access to assistance and services.”

Mohammed Sheikh Anwar, a Rohingya activist, told VOA the Bangladeshi government “needs to keep the lower-level authorities in check. There should be an accountability measure.”

“Committing violence against genocide survivors to make them agree to the authorities’ terms is not the solution,” he added.

Rohingya, myanmar, violence
A Rohingya refugee woman draws water from a hand pump at a temporary shelter in New Delhi, India.

Last week a Rohingya man named Ata Ullah said he was beaten at the office of an official at the Chakmarkul camp, the Guardian reported, after he failed to provide the official with a list of refugees.

Ata Ullah said in a video circulated on social media that when he couldn’t provide the official with a list he “was beaten with a large stick… they stepped on my neck, I could not stand it.”

Also Read: Bangladesh Government Build a New Rohingya Camp

Human Rights Watch warned in a report in August that the Bangladeshi government was restricting access to basic services by resisting attempts by aid agencies and Rohingya refugees to “create any structures, infrastructure, or policies that suggest permanency.”

As a result, the report said, “refugee children do not go to school, but rather to ‘temporary learning centers,’ where ‘facilitators,’ not ‘teachers,’ preside over the classrooms. The learning centers are inadequate, only providing about two hours of instruction a day,” the report said. (VOA)