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Kashmir killings: Resistance leadership calls for protests tomorrow as reinforcements shifted south

Funeral of slain Tawseef Ahmad Wani, a 22-year-old civilian, shot dead by armed forces on June 22, 2017 in Kakpora in Pulwama. (FPK Photo/Vikar Syed)

Srinagar: The joint resistance leadership has called for protests after Friday prayers against the “target killing” of a civilian in Kakpora area of Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir even as the military authorities have shifted two additional Army battalions — about 2,000 soldiers —into four districts in South of Kashmir.

In a joint statement, Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik condemned the killing of the civilian following the death of three militants in an encounter with forces.

Shariq @ Hanzala, Majad Mir @ Abass, both residents of Kakapora Pulwama, and Irshad Ahmad of Aghanzpur Awantipora died in an encounter with the armed forces in Kakpora area of Pulwama district.

They were associated with Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant outfit.

Tawseef aka Sahba aka Chota Geelani, a resident of Nagbal Tengpuna, which is two kilometre from main Pulwama town, was shot dead by Indian armed forces during protests in Kakpora soon after the encounter.

The leadership dubbed as “genocide” the “target killing” of Tawseef and injuring of over forty persons during the clashes with the armed forces.

They said that a spike in civilian killings has been witnessed after the threat issued by Indian army chief Gen Bipin Rawat.

“Forces personnel have been provided with a license to carry out the killings,” they said.

Meanwhile, two additional Army battalions — about 2,000 soldiers — have started moving into four districts in South of Kashmir, being described as the new “ground zero” because of increased militant activity, army officials said.

Funeral of Sheeraz Ahmad, an LeT militant, in his native area of Awantipora on June 22, 2017. (FPK Photo/Vikar Syed)

With the presence of additional forces in Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian and Pulwama, some army camps in Shopian and Pulwama would be revived, they said.

The officials said that the forces, being sent as reinforcements, had already started moving to Kashmir and would be posted to some of the more vulnerable areas of the districts.

Major General B S Raju, General Officer Command of the Army’s Victor Force, whose area of responsibility is South Kashmir, yesterday surveyed the region.

The decision on redeployment was taken after intelligence reports said South Kashmir had turned into a militant hub.

Officials said army camps had been set up to help locals who were “possibly intimidated” by the militants.


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