ISLAMABAD - In occupied Kashmir, hundreds of people defying curfew and other restrictions held demonstrations in central, north and south Kashmir on Friday against the Indian occupation and repeal of special status of the territory by Narendra Modi-led communal Indian government.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), soon after Juma congregational prayers, people flouting curfew and other restrictions took to the streets in Srinagar, Sopore, Hajin, Islamabad, Pulwama, Shopian and other areas of the occupied territory. They raised high-pitched pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Indian troops and police personnel fired teargas shells and pellets on protesters at several places, injuring many of them. Juma prayers could not be held at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid and other main mosques of the territory for the 5th consecutive week after the imposition of curbs by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir on 5th August.

The Kashmir valley, which has been under unprecedented military siege for the past 34 days, remained cut off from rest of the world due to severe blockade. While people have been confined to their homes, the patients with critical ailments are not allowed to move to hospitals. The medical stores and pharmacies have run out of stocks. The residents are facing immense hardships due to acute shortage of essential commodities like baby food. Markets, public transport and train services are shut since August 5. The Indian authorities have further tightened curfew and other restrictions in occupied Kashmir to prevent people from taking out Muharram processions.

Muharram processions banned in Occupied Kashmir. Indian police kill a civilian

Meanwhile, Indian police martyred a civilian, Reyaz Ahmed Thekri, in custody in Handwara town. Reyaz was arrested on Wednesday and was tortured to death by the police in lockup of Qalamabad Police Station in the town.

Hurriyat Conference has asked the people not to sell their land to outsiders and the Kashmiri nation would not forgive those collaborators who would facilitate the outsiders. Hurriyat activists in their messages through posters and handbills issued in occupied Kashmir said they are rendering their lives for the better tomorrow of their nation. They added that they would protect their honour, respect, religion, culture and property at all costs and nothing less than freedom from India was their demand. They also praised resolve of the people and their social boycott of the brutal Indian government and asked them to remain steadfast.

A 21-year-old Kashmiri student, Mir Faiz, was tied to a pole and assaulted by a group of Hindu fanatics and forced to wear women’s clothing in Neemrana town of Alwar district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Meer Faiz, a student of seventh semester of aeronautical engineering, hails from Baramulla area of occupied Kashmir.

After usurping all basic rights and freedoms of the people of the territory, Indian government was disallowing people to perform their religious obligations.

The authorities have now announced that no Muharram procession would be allowed in the occupied territory, fearing that these gatherings could turn into anti-India demonstrations.

The administration of occupied Kashmir on Friday said that like previous years, no Muharram procession would be allowed this time too.

It was to mention here that it had been the age-old practice across Kashmir that on 8th and 10th of Muharram, huge processions used to be taken out from different areas of Srinagar and other parts of the valley to pay rich tributes to Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) – the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – and his companions who were martyred in Karbala. However, the occupation authorities imposed ban on these processions in the territory in 1989.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir valley remains under strict military siege on the 34th consecutive day on Saturday. All markets, schools and colleges were closed while transport was off the road. Internet, mobile, landlines and TV channels in most areas were shut. The valley remained cut off from rest of the world due to continuing blockade and suspension of communication services since 5th August. The valley represents a humanitarian crisis as the residents are facing severe shortage of essential commodities like baby food and life-saving drugs. Patients were scrambling for medicines while doctors are facing immense difficulties to reach the hospitals.