Five migrant labourers killed in J&K on same day as EU lawmakers' visit: Two images that reflect contrasting situations in Valley

Five migrant labourers were killed and one was injured by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tuesday, in the sixth such attack on people not belonging to the Valley. On the same day, 23 European Union Members of Parliament visited the state to take stock of the situation

FP Staff October 30, 2019 21:36:06 IST
Five migrant labourers killed in J&K on same day as EU lawmakers' visit: Two images that reflect contrasting situations in Valley
  • Five migrant labourers were killed and one was injured by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, on the same day on which 23 European Union Members of Parliament visited the state to take stock of the situation

  • Normal life remained affected for the 87th day in the region on Wednesday, with markets closed, public transport off the roads and internet services suspended

  • Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated said on Saturday that 'not a single bullet has been fired nor a death reported in Kashmir' since the abrogation of Article 370

Five migrant labourers were killed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kulgam district on Tuesday, in the sixth such attack on people not belonging to the Valley. On the same day, 23 European Union Members of Parliament visited the state to take stock of the situation.

Since the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August, killings by terrorists, including those of truckers, traders and workers not belonging to Jammu and Kashmir, have marred the image of peace being painted by the Centre.

Even as the delegation of EU parliamentarians visited the Dal Lake and engaged with army, police, panchayat and civil society members, incidents of stone pelting were reported amid a shutdown in Srinagar. Hermann Tertsch, one of the EU parliamentarians from Spain, said he was aware that they were kept away from some people. He claimed they weren’t aware of enough facts to arrive at any conclusion.

Earlier, reports said that the toll in the terrorist attack in Kulgam on Tuesday had risen to six, but PTI later clarified that the sixth labourer who was critically injured in the incident was recovering. "A police official had earlier said that the labourer had succumbed to his injuries," the report said.

Five migrant labourers killed in JK on same day as EU lawmakers visit Two images that reflect contrasting situations in Valley

Members of the European Parliament during a shikara ride at Dal Lake in Srinagar. PTI

On Monday, 15 civilians were injured in a grenade attack by terrorists in at a bus stand in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town on Monday. A truck driver was killed by suspected militants in Anantnag district on the same day, making it the fourth such death since 5 August.

On 24 October, terrorists killed two non-Kashmiri truck drivers in Shopian district. On 14 October, two terrorists, including a suspected Pakistani national, shot dead the driver of a truck having Rajasthan registration number and assaulted an orchard owner in Shopian district. The driver was identified as Sharief Khan.

Two days later, Punjab-based apple trader Charanjeet Singh was killed and Sanjeev injured when terrorists attacked them in Shopian district. The same day, a brick kiln worker from Chhattisgarh was shot dead by militants in Pulwama district.

The first such killing on 14 October came shortly after the Jammu and Kashmir administration put out a full page advertisement in a local daily urging people to resume their normal lives, after incidents of terrorists putting up posters, both handwritten and typed, in markets, mosques and other areas with do and don't diktats became a regular feature in the Valley.

Normal life remained affected for the 87th day in the region on Wednesday, with markets closed, public transport off the roads and internet services suspended. Vendors, who had begun putting their stalls, also did not open for business for the second consecutive day. Schools and colleges, however, remained functional. Landline and postpaid mobile services were resumed.

Many politicians, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, have been detained or placed under house arrest. Lok Sabha MP Farooq Abdullah has also been detained under the Public Safety Act.

Five migrant labourers killed in JK on same day as EU lawmakers visit Two images that reflect contrasting situations in Valley

Families of the five labourers who were shot dead by terrorists in Kulgam, Jammu and Kashmir in mourning in Murshidabad, West Bengal. ANI

These detentions got the attention of the United Nations, with Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Rupert Colville demanding an independent investigation into the ill-treatment of people held under detention. Colville also said that the Valley continues to be deprived of a “wide range of human rights”.

The government, however, has vehemently stuck to the narrative of normalcy in the region. Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated said on Saturday that "not a single bullet has been fired nor a death reported in Kashmir" since the abrogation of Article 370. "I would like to assure you the removal of (Articles) 370 and 35 (A) has paved the way for Kashmir's development. And with this, terrorists in Kashmir have started counting their final days. Kashmir is peacefully on its path to development,” he said during a public address in Sanand, Gujarat.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh too said there has been no violation of human rights in Jammu and Kashmir, while General Officer Commander in Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said incidents of violence in the Valley had gone down since 5 August. "The situation in valley is under control. There has been reduction in terrorist-initiated incidents. There has been reduction in stone-pelting incidents. There has also been reduction in the protests that were carried out by the people or the large number of crowds coming out," he said.

Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal also said on Saturday that restrictions on the movement of people were lifted in over 99 percent areas of Jammu and Kashmir. He also said the cases of those who were detained, including political leaders, were being reviewed by the government for their release.

Kansal said that the lifting of restrictions began from 16 August and most curbs were lifted by the first week of September. "Barring eight to ten police stations, movement restrictions have now been completely removed. Over 99 per cent of the areas of Jammu and Kashmir have absolutely no movement restrictions," he said.

The situation in Kashmir also garnered the global community’s attention, with US President Donald Trump offering to play the mediator’s role between India and Pakistan. The issue also reached the doors of the United Nations Security Council, when an informal meeting was held in August. India, however, has maintained that Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir is an internal issue.

With inputs from agencies

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