Indian forces remove Pakistan flags as Kashmiris observe ‘Black Day’

Published July 20, 2016
An Indian paramilitary trooper stops a Kashmiri family as they try to take a patient to hospital. —AFP
An Indian paramilitary trooper stops a Kashmiri family as they try to take a patient to hospital. —AFP

SRINAGAR/ISLAMABAD: Indian security forces on Wednesday removed dozens of black and Pakistani flags in India-held Kashmir hoisted by residents observing “black day” on the call of Pakistan government to protest the killing of a top pro-independence militant leader.

Indian administration feared fresh trouble in the tense region after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for observing a “black day” to express solidarity with “Kashmiris facing atrocities at the hands of Indian forces”.

In a statement, Nawaz said, “India should realise that when people decide to do something, the weapons cannot stop their way.”

Rubbishing Indian claim of Kashmir being its internal matter, Nawaz said: “Kashmir cannot be accepted as an internal matter of India as it has been declared a disputed territory by the United Nations.”

An Indian policeman walks next to a parked train on a deserted platform at Budgam railway station during a curfew in Srinagar. — Reuters
An Indian policeman walks next to a parked train on a deserted platform at Budgam railway station during a curfew in Srinagar. — Reuters

The largest street protests in recent years erupted after Indian troops on July 8 killed Burhan Wani, the popular 22-year-old leader of Hizbul Mujahideen.

Police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear enforced a strict curfew for the 12th straight day Wednesday as life remained paralyzed and streets deserted in the region.

Responding to Nawaz's appeal, rallies were organised across the country condemning human rights violations by Indian security forces in held Kashmir.


Since 1989, more than 68,000 people have been killed in Kashmir's uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown.


Nawaz said India had promised the world to arrange a plebiscite in Kashmir, but such a commitment was yet to be honoured.

Nawaz vowed that his country would continue extending political moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. —AP
Nawaz vowed that his country would continue extending political moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. —AP

Earlier, India's External Affairs Ministry responded to Pakistan's call for a “black day” by saying Islamabad should stop “interfering in India's internal affairs and destabilising the situation”.

During the recent protests, clashes between the Indian forces and Kashmiris have left at least 47 people, mostly teens and young men, dead.

Hundreds of volunteers and people attending to the injured in the hospital gathered outside on the main road and offered prayers before his body was taken to his village for burial. They raised anti-India, pro-Pakistan and pro-freedom slogans.

A woman cries as others carry the body of an elderly Kashmiri who succumbed to injury allegedly attained during a protest last week. —AP
A woman cries as others carry the body of an elderly Kashmiri who succumbed to injury allegedly attained during a protest last week. —AP

Virtually no information was coming from most parts of India-held Kashmir, especially in the south where most of the killings have occurred, as cellular and internet services remained suspended.

Newspapers were forced to stop printing and access to landline connections was limited, except in Srinagar.

Kashmiris shout freedom slogans as they carry the body of a local. — AP
Kashmiris shout freedom slogans as they carry the body of a local. — AP

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