New Delhi: After incessant provocation from Pakistan - which included its observing a "Black Day" to commemorate the victims of the recent clashes in the Kashmir Valley - India today issued a strong recrimination, stating that the violence was "led by UN-designated terrorists" who get "encouragement and support" from Pakistan.
- India blames Pak for huge unrest in Kashmir Valley
- 40 killed, 3,000 injured since terrorist Burhan Wani was shot
- Pak eulogises Wani, accuses India of atrocities in Kashmir
At least 40 people have died and more than 3,000 have been injured in the violence that erupted in Kashmir after Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old terrorist, was killed by security forces on the night of July 8. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has told Parliament that the Pakistani government has instigated the unrest to distract from its own domestic failures.
The "Black Day" declared yesterday by Islamabad "exposes Pakistan's longing for the territory of Jammu & Kashmir. India demands that Pakistan must fulfil the obligation to vacate its illegal occupation of POK (Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir)," a statement from the Foreign Ministry said today adding that Islamabad must "refrain from its deplorable meddling in our internal affairs in any manner."
Wani's death has been used by Pakistan at the United Nations and in near-daily statements to accuse India of atrocities in Kashmir. Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif referred to Wani, a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, as "a Kashmiri leader"; he has been eulogised by Pakistani officials.
Wani's shooting incited large clashes between security forces and civilians, many of them stone-throwing protestors, who accuse the state of unrestrained force in dealing with dissent. Huge mobs have defied curfews to attack security bunkers, set police stations on fire, and seize weapons from army officers, a tactic propagated by Wani, who used social media to recruit other young men like himself for the Mujahideen, the largest terror group in Kashmir.
The worst violence in six years in the Valley has been fueled by anger over the allegedly indiscriminate use of pellets fired by security troops from non-lethal weapons, resulting in eye injuries for hundreds of people.
Large parts of the Valley remain under curfew with mobile phone services blocked; a temporary ban on local newspapers was withdrawn by the state government after much criticism.