Police lodge case against ‘seditious’ video of parade and flag hoisting at Pulwama’s Murran Chowk
SRINAGAR: Increased deployment of government troops on Pakistan’s Independence Day in Kashmir Valley could not prevent people from hoisting the Pakistan flag at many places on Monday.
A big function was organised by the Dukhtaran-i-Millat, the largest women’s pro-freedom political party, at its headquarters in Srinagar. The party spokesperson said that it held “multiple functions” at various districts of the state to “mark the Independence Day of Pakistan”. The party celebrated the occasion by holding special prayers for the safety and integrity of Pakistan, as well as for the independence of Jammu and Kashmir from India. The Pakistan national anthem was sung at these functions, the party statement said.
The tradition of hoisting the Pakistan flag, a day ahead of the Independence Day of India, began in the 1990s when militant outfits claiming “Kashmir is part of Pakistan” would hoist it at playgrounds. The Dukhtaran-i-Millat is among the foremost groups that call for Kashmir to be part of Pakistan.
In last year’s 2016 uprising, the Pakistan flag was hoisted in almost every nook and corner of the Valley on August 14. At many places the Pak flag was hoisted on mobile telephony towers and tall buildings. Government forces pulled the flags down from one place only to see them raised at another.
In Hajin area of north Kashmir, according to eyewitnesses, youths hoisted the Pakistan flag at the main chowk. Once the information reached government forces, a joint group of army and police SOG went out for punishment and damaged several vehicles.
A resident of Hajin said, “The SOG and army’s 13RR clashed with the local youths near the main chowk, where the youths had hoisted the Pakistan flag in the morning. As soon as the forces reached the market, the youths pelted them with stones. It led to massive clashes. The forces came to the market at about 1pm.”
Witnesses said that army soldiers resorted to “aerial firing” to scare away the locals.
On social media, at least two videos surfaced showing a parade and hoisting of the Pakistan flag in Kashmir Valley. One of the videos is said to have been shot last year. It remains unknown where the other video was shot. Police have registered a case against “people who uploaded and shared a ‘seditious’ video on social networking websites.”