Handwara, April 16: The fresh firing and clashes in Handwara has prompted National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah to take a swipe at the PDP-BJP government and said that the government must ensure that there is no violence in the state.
“The government should have stopped this from happening, but it failed. Today, the government should take care of the fighting. The government must work to end the violence. We can never bring peace in the state if innocents die,” Abdullah was quoted as saying by the media.
However, fresh clashes between the protesters and police broke out in Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. The agitators were raising slogans against the unrest in the state, particularly Handwara, following a minor girl’s molestation by the Indian Army personnel. (Also Read: Handwara unrest: Shut down by separatists enters day four, restrictions continue)
Handwara has observed a shutdown as the locality wore a tense look with the security still beefed up and restrictions still imposed.
Earlier, a group of JNU students staged a protest at Jantar Mantar in the capital against the killings and demanded that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) be repealed.
Accompanying placards saying “Kashmiri lives matter” and “down with AFSPA, end state sponsored violence”, the students belonging to left-backed All India Students Association (AISA), who were joined by members of All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), held the protest amid minor disruptions from some people believed to be from right-wing groups.
Some people shouted slogans like “Bharat Mata ki jai” and “Vande Matram”. However, policemen deployed on the spot controlled the situation.
Handwara town in Kupwara district of Kashmir is facing a tense situation since last four days in the wake of death of five persons in firing by security personnel during violent protests against alleged molestation of the girl student by an army man.
Later a video of the girl was also released, where she is seen denying allegations against the army man. However, today the girl’s mother claimed that she was pressurised by police to give the statement.
“The Handwara episode is also a lesson in how the laws are openly violated with impunity. In a shocking violation of the law, a video of the minor girl complainant was uploaded and circulated on media and social media, exposing her identity,” said women activist Kavita Krishnan, who is Secretary, AIPWA.