Pakistan police, paramilitaries brutally assault Peace Committee activists in PoK

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) [Pakistan], Dec.8 (ANI): Pakistan police and paramilitary forces brutally assaulted leaders and activists of the Peace Committee, a coalition of progressive and nationalist organisations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as they took part in a peace march near the Tatrinote crossing point in the Hajira-Poonch Sector. The Peace Committee was protesting against the activities of Jihadi groups in the area and when they refused to stop their sloganeering and March, they were thrashed by the security personnel. Several participants were severely injured in the process. The police and the paramilitary personnel also stopped the marchers from approaching the Line of Control (LoC). It is a well known fact that prominent terror outfits such as the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, the Harkat-ul-Ansar, Al-Badr, the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad have established bases or terror-training camps in the tribal-dominant areas of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. These outfits have been known to send their cadres across the Line of Control (LoC) to spread their reign of terror in Indian Territory. The recent terror strikes in Uri and Nagrota are examples of this, and were responded to in telling manner by the Indian Army through surgical strikes. The staging of protests in Pakistan occupied Kashmir has become a regular feature. In July this year, a massive protest took place over the authenticity of assembly elections in which the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) took 32 of the 42 seats. Then, the protests spread across the towns of Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Chinari and Mirpur. The administration in Pakistan also issued a warning to clamp down on any reporting by the media, even as the protestors alleged that genuine voters were not allowed to exercise their franchise. At that time, people from all walks of life claimed that the elections had been rigged and there was a demand for the elections to be overseen by a neutral authority or observers. In October, there were further protests over a demand that Pakistan remove its forces from Gilgit-Baltistan and from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir by the United Kashmir People's National Party and to hold peace talks with India. There was also a call given to end the ongoing proxy war and speed up efforts for the resolution of the Kashmir issue. Those leading the protests then also said that in the 21st century, Pakistan should give rights to the people of the region, rather than abusing them and denying basic rights. On October 27, during a Black Day protest, a brutal crackdown was launched on hundreds of people by the security forces as they took to the streets in Bhimber, Kotli, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur and other parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Angry members of the Jammu and Kashmir National Students Federation even attempted to cross over into Indian Territory. The protesters were then baton charged and hit by tear gas shells. Attempts were made to hush up the protests, which are often used to highlight the oppression they face under Pakistan's occupation. (ANI)