Few vehicles were seen on the roads in Srinagar as a complete shutdown was observed throughout Kashmir following the killings of innocent civilians. On Sunday, three militants of Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) were neutralized by the armed forces in Kulgam’s Laroo Village in South Kashmir. Seven civilians were also killed following an explosion at the encounter site. And many others were injured in the protests with bullets and pellets by the armed forces.
Kashmir is once again bleeding. In the past month, more than thirty youths have been killed either in protests or in encounters. The municipal elections also witnessed a spike in killings and threats. Two weeks ago, protests erupted when a PhD scholar Manan Wani, who joined militancy, had been killed in an encounter. Following that, more militants have been killed in encounters and innocent civilians in protests.
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Former J&K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah in an interview with the local media said the central government was in denial of Kashmir’s worsening condition. “Alienating the people in the fight against militancy is a sure-fire recipe for losing the fight. How long can we go on ignoring the ground realities & living in denial about how bad things are in Kashmir?” he tweeted.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman, Rafi Ahmad Mir said: “talks are imperative and peace cannot be achieved under the shadow of the gun.” All regional parties have condemned the killings and the government’s militaristic stand.
Meanwhile, with thousands of youths being killed every year in encounters and protests, Kashmir will soon be facing a drop in its male youth population. The state and central governments should address the youth’s problems and help rehabilitate the families that now have no earning source. The government should re-look its policies on Kashmir for the youths.