Journalists working in difficult situation in IOK

Srinagar, May 03 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of a student, Umar Kumhar, in Shopian district, today.

Umar Kumhar, a ninth class student, was killed and more than thirty people were injured when the Indian troops fired bullets, pellets and teargas shells on protesters during a cordon and search operation in Turkawangam area of the district, yesterday. The troops also damaged two houses and at least four cowsheds in the area. Thousands of people poured onto the streets as the body of the martyred student was taken for burial. They raised high-pitched pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Multiple funerals were held for Umar to accommodate the huge rush of people. Eyewitnesses said that the martyr was laid to rest with his school uniform shirt over his body.

Complete shutdown was observed in Pulwama, Shopian, Islamabad and Kulgam districts, today, to mourn the killing of Umar Kumhar and other youth martyred by the troops. The Indian troops fired teargas shells in Khudwani area of Kulgam after youth pelted stones on the vehicles of the forces’ personnel. Clashes erupted between protesters and the Indian forces in Malangpora area of Pulwama district. Indian police arrested noted religious scholar, Qazi Ahmed Yasir, in Islamabad town to prevent him from visiting Turkawangam area to express solidarity with the family of the martyred student.

A report released by Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, today, maintained that occupied Kashmir is one of the most dangerous places of the world where people associated with the press and media are performing their professional duties in the most difficult circumstances and situation. The report pointed out that ten journalists have been confirmed as being killed while performing their duties during the Kashmiris’ ongoing liberation struggle since 1989. They included Shabbir Ahmed Dar, Mushtaq Ali, Ghulam Muhammad Lone, Ghulam Rasool Azad, Muhammad Shaban Wakeel, Pervez Muhammad Sultan, Mushtaq Ahmed and a woman scribe, Aasiya Jeelani.

The Chairman of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Syed Ali Gilani, has said that many Kashmiri political prisoners were still languishing in jails given the fact that they had completed their incarceration period. He was talking to noted Indian civil society member and Chairman of Centre for Peace and Progress, O P Shaw, who called on him at his Hyderpora residence in Srinagar. The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, and human rights activist, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, in their meeting with O P Shaw said that the Kashmiris were offering huge sacrifices for a noble cause and no amount of Indian state terrorism could intimidate them to submission.

Delegations of different pro-freedom organizations including Salvation Movement, Voice of Victims, Kashmiri Affected Families and Pellet Victims Association met Tehreek-e-Hurriyat Chairman, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, and discussed the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir. The leaders of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party including Muhammad Abdullah Tari addressing a press conference in Srinagar expressed serious concern over the deteriorating health of the illegally detained party Chairman, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Hurriyat leaders including Muhammad Yasin Malik, Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and Javaid Ahmed Mir visited SMHS Hospital in Srinagar and enquired about the health of the youth injured in the firing of pellets and bullets by the Indian troops in different areas. KMS

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