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Ten killed, nearly 200 injured in protest over Burhan Muzaffar Wani’s death in Kashmir

Lashkar-e Taiba militant outfit and Asiya Andrabi, the radical chief of women separatist outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat, called for a three-day shutdown in the Kashmir valley

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Burhan Muzaffar Wani. Image source: www.india.com
  • CM Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep grief and agony over the death of youths during protests at various places in Kashmir Valley on July 9
  • Shouting pro-Islam and pro-Azadi slogans, mourners appeared surcharged and youths raised slogans vowing to follow Wani’s path
  • Lashkar-e Taiba militant outfit and Asiya Andrabi, the radical chief of women separatist outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat, called for a three-day shutdown in the Kashmir valley

SRINAGAR: Ten people were killed and nearly 200, including 96 security personnel, injured in violent clashes between mobs protesting the death of top Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani and security forces inJammu and Kashmir on Saturday, July 9.

Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed deep grief and agony over the death of youths during protests at various places in Kashmir Valley on Saturday and appealed for calm, even as authorities indicated curfew would be more strictly enforced on Sunday, July 10.

Defying prohibitory orders, a surging crowd of over 20,000 people on Saturday attended the burial of Wani in Tral town in Pulwama.

Shouting pro-Islam and pro-Azadi slogans, mourners appeared surcharged and youths raised slogans vowing to follow Wani’s path.

Wani, 21, a poster boy of militancy with thousands of followers on social media, was killed along with two associates in a gunfight with security forces in Bamdoora (Kokernag) village of Anantnag district on Friday.

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The authorities, allowing the burial procedure, withdrew all security forces deployed around the ground to prevent clashes with the agitated people.

Meanwhile, mobile internet services were suspended throughout the Valley to prevent the spread of rumours.

Movement of pilgrims for the Amarnath Yatra was also suspended in view of the unrest and the pilgrims kept in transit and security forces camps. A decision on resuming the pilgrimage will be taken on Sunday, officials said. However, 15,684 pilgrims who had already reached the shrine had ‘darshan’ on Saturday.

Burhan, Hizbul Mujahidin. Image source:indianexpress.com
Burhan, Hizbul Mujahidin. Image source:indianexpress.com

The eight protesters killed on Saturday were identified as Aijaz Ahmed Thokru, a resident of Siligam in Anantnag, Yawar Manzoor Kondru of Anantnag, Khursheed Ahmed of Kulgam and Zubair Ahmed also of Kulgam, who was injured on Friday but succumbed to his injuries on Saturday, Adil Bashir of Dooru, Anantnag, Abdul Hamid Mochi of Arwami village in Anantnag, Shaukat Ahmed of Bijbehara and Mohammad Asif of Kukurnag.

All except Kondru who drowned in the Jhelum as security forces sought to disperse a violent mob was killed when security forces retaliated to attacks by violent mobs on police stations, mobile posts, security force pickets, police patrols and security force vehicles, the officials said.

Two more injured succumbed to injuries in hospital but were yet to be identified.

At least 96 security personnel were injured, said Additional Director general of Police, CID, S.M. Sahai and Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, S.J.M. Geelani at a press conference here.

Three policemen were missing, they said.

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According to the officials, the mobs also burned down three police stations in south Kashmir as well as a tehsildar’s office in Tral and attacked private and public vehicles on the highway.

The administration also announced that all exams from school to university level had been postponed as well as the National Eligibility Test and interviews of the State Public Commission.

Separatists, including hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik earlier called for a day’s strike to protest Wani’s killing. Later, they announced to continue their shutdown on Sunday and Monday too to protest the “killing spree by the Indian security forces”.

Lashkar-e Taiba militant outfit and Asiya Andrabi, the radical chief of women separatist outfit Dukhtaran-e-Milat, called for a three-day shutdown in the Kashmir valley.

Meanwhile, Mehbooba Mufti, urging for calm, sought people’s cooperation in the restoration of normalcy in the Valley.

“Violence only brings miseries to the people and tragedies for the victim families,” she said and appealed people, especially the youth not to fall prey to the machinations of the vested interests, who play politics over the dead bodies of Kashmiris.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah voiced apprehension of a likely spurt in militancy in the Valley in the wake of Wani’s killing.

“Mark my words – Burhan’s ability to recruit into militancy from the grave will far outstrip anything he could have done on social media,” the National Conference leader said in a series of tweets.

He also asserted that Wani had become the new ‘icon’ for the disaffected community in the valley.

“After many years I hear slogans for “Azadi” resonate from the mosque in my uptown Srinagar locality. Kashmir’s disaffected got a new icon yesterday,” he said in another tweet. (IANS)

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    Burhan was a face of militancy in social media and was a face for disaffected community in the valley. Then why are people creating so much fuss?

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Guatemala: Human Rights Defenders Under Attack

The U.N. human rights office has recorded an alarming 884 attacks against human rights defenders

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Guatemala, Human Rights Defenders
FILE - Hundreds of indigenous people, peasant farmers and activists demonstrate in the streets of Guatemala City, demanding the end of the corruption and the persecution of political leaders, May 8, 2019. VOA

A report by the U.N. Human Rights Office finds human rights defenders, minorities and indigenous people in Guatemala are subject to widescale, wanton attacks by state and non-state actors. The report, prepared with Guatemala’s National Human Rights Institution, covers the period from January 2017 to April 2019.

The U.N. human rights office has recorded an alarming 884 attacks against human rights defenders, including 39 killings during the two-year reporting period. It says human rights defenders are subject to physical attacks, threats, intimidation, surveillance, stigmatization, and gender-based violence.

Guatemala, Human Rights Defenders

A report by the U.N. Human Rights Office finds human rights defenders, minorities and indigenous people in Guatemala are subject to widescale, wanton attacks. Pixabay

The report accuses the government of misusing criminal law to silence those defending peoples’ rights to lands, territories and natural resources. It notes indigenous peoples, women defenders, LGBTI defenders, and journalists are among those at particular risk of abuse.

In mid-June, Guatemalans will go to the poll to elect the President and Congress. U.N. human rights spokeswoman, Marta Hurtado said this is a particularly precarious time for human rights defenders. She said her office has documented a number of attacks against community and indigenous leaders targeted for their political involvement.

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“Three political candidates and two people with declared intentions to run for office have been killed since January 2019. Impunity in relation to these crimes is persistent and rampant. Independent judges — including from High Courts — and prosecutors have faced assaults, threats, reprisals and have been stigmatized,” said Hurtado.

The report warns these attacks and abuses of peoples’ civil rights bring into question the credibility of the electoral process. It says widespread violations will persist unless measures are taken to end the country’s endemic corruption, redress the lack of land tenure, improve security and institutional weaknesses.

The report recommends the government strengthen measures to prevent, protect, investigate and prosecute crimes committed against human rights defenders. (VOA)