Kashmir stone-pelting injures three, upends demonetisation theory
Three members of a stone-pelting group were injured when Indian security forces were conducting sweeps in two areas in strife-torn Kashmir's Pulwama district on Friday.
The incident occurred when forces were on a search operation in Naristan and Samboora areas of the district in the morning after they received information about movement of suspicious persons there, Indian police said.
A few locals chucked projectiles at the search team at the closing stages of the operation. The security personnel then fired a few rounds to disperse the mob, injuring three locals in the process.
The wounded have been admitted to a hospital for treatment, an unnamed police officer said.
The latest incident occurred despite the Indian government's claim that such kind of attacks have been nixed in Kashmir following demonetisation.
The Indian government has long been of the view that stone-pelters are paid cash by Kashmiri separatists to create problems in the riven state. But India's defence minister believed that the cash scrap had hobbled the finances of Kashmiri separatists.
"Earlier, there were rates: Rs 500 for stone pelting (on security forces in Kashmir) and Rs 1,000 for doing something else. PM has brought terror funding to zero," Parrikar had said in November, implying that cash replacement had stonewalled terror-funding in Kashmir.
"In the last few days after PM's daring move there hasn't been stone pelting on security forces. I congratulate PM for it," Parrikar had further said.
Meanwhile, normal life was affected in Kashmir valley today due to a strike called by separatists against the issuance of identity certificates to West Pakistan Refugees (WPRs).
Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in Srinagar - the summer capital of the state - were shut, while public transport was minimal.
They said there were very few street vendors visible in the city today due to the strike.
Security forces were deployed in strength at sensitive places where barricades were also erected.
The separatists have also been calling for shutdown on Friday and Saturday every week after scaling down their agitation which followed the killing of Hizbul Mujahdeen militant Burhan Wani.
The more than five-month unrest in the Valley had left 86 people dead and thousands others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.
The separatist groups - both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF - yesterday appealed the people to observe a complete shutdown on Friday and Saturday over WPR issue.
They alleged that the decision on issuance of identity certificates to WPR was aimed at changing the demography of Jammu and Kashmir.
(WION with inputs from PTI)