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Massive protests, civil unrest break out in PoK; activists chant 'Azadi' as they clash with police
Videograb of PoK protest from X

Massive protests, civil unrest break out in PoK; activists chant 'Azadi' as they clash with police

| @@indiablooms | 12 May 2024, 12:56 pm

Srinagar/IBNS: Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has been hit by civilian unrest that prompted a massive crackdown by the authorities to quell protests across the region.

A police officer was killed and 90 others were injured in fresh clashes on Saturday.

The protests initially started over inflation, high taxation, and electricity shortage but have now turned into a movement for rights and freedom across PoK.

Protesters have been shouting slogans for "azadi (freedom)" as they clashed with police and security agencies in Muzaffarabad and other districts.

The protests are being spearheaded by the Jammu and Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee, with traders at the forefront.

Dozens of leaders and members of the Action Committee have been arrested after they called the strike on Friday.

On May 5, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that PoK has always been a part of India and its "very sorry state of affairs" has continued owing to the earlier governments, which did not ensure Pakistan vacated the region after Independence.

"PoK has never been out of this country. It has always been a part of this country. There is a resolution of the Indian parliament that PoK is very much a part of India. Now, how did other people get control? Ab ho jaata hai (it happens) when you have someone who is not a responsible custodian of a house, an outsider will come and steal something," Jaishankar said during an interactive session in Odisha's Cuttack.

"Here you have allowed another country... It was because we did not pursue the vacation of Pakistan from these territories in the early years of Independence that this very sorry state of affairs has continued. What will happen in the future is very difficult to tell. But, I always tell people one thing that today PoK is in the consciousness once again of the people of India. We had forgotten about it, we were made to forget about it, but it is back now, definitely," he added.

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