India shuts down Kashmir newspapers amid unrest

At least four persons were injured and two of them - Syeedah Akhtar, 45, and Showkat Ahmed, 26, - succumbed to their injuries in a hospital. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the killings of Kashmiris and instructed the representative of Pakistan at the United Nations to raise the issue of Indian oppression in held Kashmir.

Sitaram called for the government to send medical aid and doctors to Kashmir.

Jaitley refuted Congress' charge that the state government had mishandled or failed to handle the bloody unrest triggered by the July 8 killing of 22-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, the social-media-savvy poster boy of new age militancy in Kashmir.

After restricting mobile telephone services, authorities have now snapped the landline connections to curb the violent protests.

No vernacular or English language newspaper has been published in the Valley for the last three days.

Security has been further tightened in the Valley as Pakistan government has announced to observe a "Black Day" on Tuesday to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Senior separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah and others have been either placed under house arrest or taken into preventive custody to restrain them from participating in protests.

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In a statement issued here on Sunday, IJU president S.N. Sinha, its Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli, International Federation of Journalists Vice-President Sabina Inderjit and Press Council of India members K. Amarnath and Prabhat Dash, said that prohibiting publication of newspapers and confiscation of printed copies was "illegal" and "unconstitutional", as the Supreme Court had ruled that prevention of printing and distribution of newspapers "amounted to pre-censorship".

Newspaper editors denounced the government action and termed it "gagging and enforcing emergency on media".

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Rajya Sabha refuted the charges of use of excessive force on protesting civilians and stressed that on the contrary, the security forces had been asked to use maximum restraint and the least force. Doctors in the region say hospitals are brimming with people that have been hit by rubber pellets. One of the wounded is said to be critical.

Authorities chose to impose curfew in the Valley on Tuesday for the 12th day running while separatists extended the protest shutdown for another three days here in Jammu and Kashmir.

Although rubber pellets are not fatal, when fired by hydraulic pump action guns they can cause blindness, disfigurement and damage to organs.

Khanday said that the hospital had been overwhelmed by injured protesters at the weekend, adding that it was very likely that most victims would suffer permanent damage to their vision.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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