SRINAGAR: Indian troops martyred seven more Kashmiri youth in Kupwara district of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) on Sunday, Kashmir Media Service reported.
The latest deaths come as a state of fear and panic gripped the Himalayan territory after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government called in tens of thousands of additional troops and ordered tourists to evacuate the region.
A day earlier, the Indian occupying forces martyred three Kashmiris during a cordon and search operation at Malmapanpora in Sopore area of Baramulla district
Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of one martyred youth, Zeenat-ul-Islam Naikoo at his native Memmander village in Shopian district. The participants of the funeral raised high-pitched anti-India and pro-freedom slogans on the occasion.
Scores of students reportedly assembled at the Kashmir University and held a demonstration against the war hysteria created by India in the Kashmir valley. The students pledged that any nefarious design by the Indian state which is against the interests of Kashmiri people would be opposed, tooth and nail.
In a statement, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement Mir Shahid Saleem also warned the Indian government that any move to tinker with the special status of Jammu and Kashmir would have disastrous consequences.
[pullquote]Threat to scrap IoK’s special status[/pullquote]
Fear gripped Chenab Valley and Pir Panchal areas of Jammu region on Saturday after deployment of additional paramilitary personnel by India at many places in these areas.
The state government in a statement said tourists should leave the occupied valley “immediately” because of intelligence about “terror threats” to a major Hindu pilgrimage in the region.
The order came as the Indian government called in thousands of military reinforcements to the Himalayan territory. The Indian government has admitted that 10,000 extra troops were sent to occupied Kashmir a week ago, but media reports Friday said a further 25,000 had been ordered there.
The Indian government has declined to say how many are in the new reinforcements.
Kashmir politicians have raised fears that the additional troops are a sign that the BJP government could carry out a threat to scrap IoK’s special status under the Indian constitution.
Recent official orders, including the one on Friday, have triggered rumours that the BJP government is planning to remove Article 35A, which prevents people from outside buying property or claiming government jobs in occupied Kashmir.