Tensions high in IHK as Wani’s death anniversary looms
A 17 year old student is recovering from gunshot wounds in a crowded hospital in Held Kashmir, the teenager is amongst the thousands of civilians injured in protests against Indian rule that have exploded since the death of a popular Kashmiri leader a year ago.
The teenager had threw himself in front of the hail of bullets in order to help the fighters escape, When the government forces had came to his village in the Himalayan region to raid a hideout.
Talking from his bed in a hospital in Srinagar the teenager told the press that “I leapt in between a trapped rebel and soldiers who were shooting and took the bullets myself,”
However, ever since the charismatic rebel leader Burhan Wani had been shot dead by security forces on 8th July, civilians have had played an increasingly active role in the rebellion against the Indian rule.
A huge outpouring of grief had sparked after the death of the 23 year old, who had built up a big following on social media as he posed with an AK-47. Afterwards in protests, almost 100 civilians had been killed by the security forces in the months that followed. Many of the protesters were blinded by the security forces who were using pellet guns, which resulted in the further divide between authorities and an already alienated civilian population.
According to the Hospital authorities in Srinagar a steady stream of injured civilians with horrific eye injuries have been seen by them..
I the renewed freedom struggle of IoK, there is a new wave of freedom fighters, in different parts of the IoK, raids carried out by paramilitary forces have been intervened by stone throwing civilians who have given opportunities to the freedom fighters to flee. According to Kashmiri historian Sidiq Wahid “It is a direct confrontation now, public anger and defiance has reached levels never seen in Kashmir before.”
A week of protests had been called by the separatist leaders of the IoK most of whom have either been confined to their homes or jailed ahead of the anniversary to mark Wani’s death. On the other hand authorities had begun controlling people’s movements and suspended the mobile internet services in some areas.
One senior officer said police stations across south IoK were full of motorbikes seized to stop activists moving between villages.
While two additional army battalions about 2000 troops have been deployed by India to the troubled regions in the southern IoK area. However some officials have said that the challenge now is to deal with public anger rather than the freedom fighters’ threat.
One senior security official on the condition of anonymity told the press that “The armed ‘militants’ are not much of a challenge,” one senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.Counterinsurgency operations have been intensified and we are eliminating them. But in absence of any political forces engaging the people, they (rebels) have galvanised the public sentiment against India.”
According to the analysts the oppressive rule in IoK has intensified public opposition, where approximately 100’s of youths had joined the rebel ranks since Wani’s death. Many have taken weapons from police and paramilitary forces during patrols.
Although the teenager is still so weak that he can only speak in a whisper, however the young teen still hopes that he will join the fighters. “I am praying to find a weapon when I get out of here and join my brothers,” said the teen from his hospital bed.
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