Asif Iqbal Naik
Amid escalating and mounting tensions in Kishtwar district of Jammu division over Kashmir uprising that has claimed the lives of at least 54 civilians and injuries to over 5000 people, the authorities in Jammu suspended the internet services in many parts of the Jammu Division including Kishtwar district that has witnessed mass scale protests on Thursday including night Mashaal procession and candle light protest, besides a buzz with anti-India, pro-freedom, pro-Burhan and pro-Pakistan slogans on loudspeakers – the incident which is first of its kind in last 30 years of militancy.
As per the details available with Kashmir Life, after series of meetings, an amalgam of various religious bodies – Majlis-e-Shoora headed by Imam Jamia Masjid Kishtwar, Imam Masjid Umar Molvi Abdul Qayoom Mattoo & and Imam Bunastan Masjid Kishtwar Manzoor Ahmed Ganaie as its members on public and youth interference extended the shutdown call for today and had called for a protest in all Masjids after congregational Friday prayers in the afternoon.
The decision with regard to suspension of internet services was taken after some “mischievous elements spread rumours” with regard to imposition of curfew in Kishtwar district after clashes.
The matter is being investigated by the police.
As early as possible today, people in large numbers including various government employees held key areas of the town and sealed all the entry and exit points leading to Kishtwar town by erecting barricades at Chowks and by lanes.
All the roads and the markets wear deserted look and the main road from Dak Bangla Chowk to Bus Stand to Malipath is the forest affected area where protesters have “the upper hand and control”.
The protestors after imposing complete shutdown in the town and its adjoining areas are holding the protest at Bus Stand Kishtwar by erecting tents.
The agitating people are raising slogans demanding to bring an end to use of force against the peaceful protesters in Kashmir, besides showing their solidarity with the people of Kashmir who according to the protestors are under siege of “occupational forces and demanded that the government of India should hold the plebiscite to bring an end to 6 over decade old dispute of Kashmir”.
The protesters also demanded releasing of all political detainees, besides withdrawal of all the FIRs registered against the alleged stone pelters.
They also condemned the arrest of more than 600 people by the forces post Burhan Wani killing that triggered the massive uprising in Kashmir valley.
The protesters without any fear for the first time voluntary called media persons and allowed them both photography and videography of the on-going protests in the region.
They also made an appeal to the media to highlight the voice and concern of the people towards Kashmir situation.
They said that the protest will continue till the desired results could be achieved.
The people were also asked to follow the directions and protest calendars issued by the joint amalgam of Hurriyat conference from Srinagar.
Keeping in view of the escalating tension, the security has been tightened in whole district and extra forces had already rushed to Kishtwar district to deal with law and order situation.
However, the protesters are providing an easy access and passage to Machail Yatris which is underway in Padder area of Kishtwar district wherein more than 50000 pilgrims have, so far, offered Darshan at Chandi Matta temple in Machail Village of Padder situated at an altitude of over 13000 feet above sea level.