By EIRI CHOWDHRY, THE ISLAMABAD POST, ISLAMABAD/GUJRANWALA, Pakistan — Protesters attacked the homes of the sons of the police chief of Kashmir, accusing them of shooting their father dead in a controversial raid.
Friday night was a day of protests in the Kashmir Valley, a Muslim-majority state of India. Protesters said they were angered by an operation of police in the heavily congested Muslim-majority city of Srinagar on Thursday night in which Syed Salahuddin, a leader of the Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed in what the police said was a “gunfight.”
Joint Commissioner of Police S.P. Vaid said they had to engage the resistance fighters after spotting one of their flags fluttering in the street and pinned a bomb to his chest. His death, however, has led to outrage and protests that have left many dead or injured.
It was the first of a series of incidents in which security forces have killed demonstrators in the state and the nearby Kashmir Valley since early April, including 13 police and paramilitary soldiers, many of them of Kashmiri origin.
Demonstrators Friday demanded the resignation of Vaid. The authorities had sacked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, a leader of the main opposition Hurriyat Conference party, this week over the rising number of Kashmiri casualties.
Vaid’s family home, near to where Salahuddin was killed Thursday, was attacked by demonstrators shouting “We want freedom” and “Shame! Shame! Shame!,” witnesses said.
A large number of students have joined the protests in the past few days. At least one two-week-old baby was shot in the stomach when demonstrators clashed with security forces.