VIOLENT CLASHES IN KESHMIR: DEATH TOLL INCREASES


27/11/2016





Latest of the clashes between separatist protestors and Indian security forces in the Indian-administered Kashmir took place on Monday resulted in the death of 5 people–including a 16-year-old boy- and injured 20 more.Reports citing Agence-France-Presse stated that the 16-year-old protestor was shotto death late on Monday following gun fights between Indian troops and protesters in Batmaloo area of the city of Srinagar. Indian authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India' only Muslim-majority state, since July 9 during a surge in violence prompted by the killing of a top separatist commander a day earlier.According to monitoring networks, with the casualties of August 15, the death toll since last month has risen to 63.The dispute between India and Pakistan regarding Kashmir has deep roots as two countries have been claiming full authority over the region since the end of the British colonial rule on the territory in 1947. The separatist rebel groups in Keshmir seek to achieve full liberation of the state, or at least a merger with Pakistan.Narendra Modi,the Prime Minister of India claimed during his speech on Monday, August 15 –India Independence Day- that Pakistan has been supporting a violent secessionist movement in Kashmir. Pakistan has consistently denied this charge, but it addresses Kashmiri rebels as“freedom fighters”.Surprisingly, the Indian Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir regions, Mehmooba Mufti held India responsible for the crisis, and stated that India should get rid of the defacto Line of Control in Kashmir in order to establish peace throughout the region. On the same day, Pakistan invited Indian authorities to Islamabad in hopes of finding a solution to the damning situation.According to statistics, over 50,000 have been killed in Keshmir during the clashes that are taking place around the region since late 1980s.The death tools strikes as quite staggering, and the situation in the region continues to escalate. However, despite that the discourse of the Prime Minister of India cannot be considered as very constructive, the responsible-mediative statements of Mehmooba Mufti and Pakistan’s calls for a joint resolution allows people to flourish positive expectations regarding the future of the region.Ata Mert ALADAĞ

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