Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq on Saturday announced that Kashmiri people, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) group, “will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday [December] 17” to ask the Indian forces to “kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily”.
Earlier in the day, at least seven civilians were killed and over three dozen injured when the Indian forces fired at protesters in disputed Kashmir.
Farooq urged the Indian government to “stop this inhumanity as it will not achieve anything except further rebellion and hatred”.
The Hurriyat leader further announced that “from today onwards, for three days, mourning and complete protest strike will be observed all across” the disputed region.
“Bullets and pellets rain! As Govt of India has decided to kill Kashmiri’s through its #ArmedForces who control us,” the Kashmiri leader wrote in his tweet.
Editorial: Kashmiri killings
Three Kashmiri fighters and a soldier were killed in an exchange of gunfire at a village in the southern Pulwama area, said police officer Muneer Ahmed Khan.
The gunbattle sparked protests, with hundreds of people chanting anti-India slogans and calling for an end to Indian rule over the occupied Himalayan region.
The Indian forces fired bullets, shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protesters, killing seven and injuring at least 40 others, nine of them critically, police said. Later in a statement, police said they regretted the killings.
Residents accused troops of directly spraying gunfire into the crowds. “They (Indian troops) fired at us as if they were practicing their guns,” said Shabir Ahmed, a local resident who accompanied some injured taken to a hospital in Srinagar.
Soldiers in an armoured vehicle fired at a small group of Kashmiris away from the battle site, and as the vehicle jammed on a roadside, the troops fatally shot one of them, said resident Ubaid Ahmed.
Saturday’s killings triggered more anti-India protests and clashes at several places in the region, including Srinagar. No one was reported injured in the clashes.