Mainstream and separatist leaders in Kashmir Saturday expressed outrage over the killing of seven civilians in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, with the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) calling for a three-day shutdown in the Valley and National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah terming the deaths a “massacre”.
“7 dead. There is no explanation for this excessive use of force, none what so ever. This is a massacre & that’s the only way to describe it,” Omar tweeted.
PDP president and former CM Mehbooba Mufti said the administration has failed to secure civilians. “No probe enough to bring back the dead innocent civilians. South Kashmir has been reeling under fear for the last 6 months. Is this what was expected from Gov rule? The admin has failed in securing civilian lives. Deepest condolences to the bereaved,” she wrote on Twitter.
J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Ghulam Ahmad Mir claimed the forces did not follow standard operating procedure (SOP). “The civilian killings in Pulwama could have been avoided had the forces followed SOP, but unfortunately that has not happened…,” Mir said.
Hurriyat chairman and JRL leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq announced a three-day mourning and strike to protest the killings. “From today onwards for three days mourning and complete protest strike will be observed all across,” he tweeted, asking people to march towards Srinagar’s Badami Bagh Army cantonment Monday. “…As Govt of India has decided to kill Kashmiri’s through its #ArmedForces who control us, JRL and people will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday 17 Dec…,” he tweeted. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry also condemed the killing.