Srinagar - Intense clashes between Indian security forces and civilian protesters erupted in parts of Occupied Kashmir on Saturday following martyrdom of six youths by Indian soldiers in Armpora village of Pulwama district.

Eyewitnesses said that youths took to streets and held massive pro-freedom protest demonstrations. Indian troops deployed at various spots thwarted the demonstrations prompting youths to pelt stones.

They said that forces used tear smoke shells and pellets to disperse the protesters.

According to Kashmir media service, the youths were killed during a cordon and search operation jointly launched by Indian army, paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force and Special Operation Group in Arampora area of the Pulwama district.

The authorities suspended mobile internet services immediately after the killings.

Six Indian troops were injured in a grenade blast in Arwani area of Islamabad district on Saturday. The forces were withdrawing from Hassanpura area of Arwani after concluding a siege and search operation when the blast took place.

The injured included five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel and a policeman, who were rushed to sub-district hospital Bijbehara for treatment.

Hurriyat Forum Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that every civilian killing by Indian forces leads to increased anger among people against New Delhi, which has been mishandling Kashmir situation for the past several decades by ignoring the ground realities in the territory.

According to KMS, Mirwaiz in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the freedom struggle could not be muzzled by military might and oppression.

He said this anger will not lessen and rather result in stiff resistance to oppression. “Those in Delhi who blame the resistance leadership for their own mishandling of the situation should accept that with each civilian killing by forces, the resentment and anger against Indian government naturally grows and will not lessen,” he added.

Mirwaiz’s statement came a day after Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that resistance leaders in Kashmir were instigating the people against New Delhi.

He said Kashmir is witnessing an all-time increase in human rights abuses in the form of killing as the policy-makers in New Delhi seek a military solution to the seven-decade-old festering dispute by giving a free hand to the forces.

“Lakhs of forces personnel present in every nook and corner of Kashmir are perpetrating this policy, the result of which is massacres and mayhem. The most recent example is the brutal massacre of seven civilians in Pulwama in a target fire by trigger-happy forces,” he said.

Referring to a report which said the recent local body polls in Kashmir have thrown up a grim picture of the situation as the voter turnout was poor and abysmal in most areas while candidates were either elected unopposed or stayed away from it, Mirwaiz said.

“The government of India can no longer hoodwink people or the world by taking recourse to these measures to show that all is well. People of Kashmir are fed up of the lingering dispute and want a resolution to it; and not the continuation of status-quo through these measures,” he added.

He said the Hurriyat has been, from day one, stating that Kashmir is a political and a human issue which can only be resolved by means of a sustained dialogue with all the stakeholders, most importantly Kashmiris.

In another major tragedy, seven Kashmiri workers from Uri area of Baramulla district were killed in a landslide in Uttarakhand, India. The incident happened near the construction site of Char Dham all-weather road in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand.

INP adds: Pakistan has strongly condemned the continuing brutal massacre of innocent Kashmiris by India, in which six more Kashmiris were martyred in Pulwama on Saturday.

In a tweet, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said besides killings, suspension of internet and train services continues as part of oppressive Indian regime in Occupied Kashmir.

He called upon the UN Secretary General and world human rights champions to prevail upon India to halt the bloodshed in the held area.