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“Pro-Palestinian demonstration and graffiti” ; 21 arrested in Kashmir

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Police detained 21 people for creating protests in assistance of the Palestinian conflict. The police stated it is holding a close observation on components trying to leverage the circumstances in Palestine to upset peace and order in the Valley. According to police reports, 21 people were caught across Kashmir, including an artist who had created a pro-Palestine drawing in Srinagar.

Besides the arrests, the J&K police also caught a south Kashmir-based religious parson, Sarjan Barkati, into defensive watch Friday. A police source said Barkati was brought into a precautionary charge for infringing the Covid-19 lockdown. But, officials coverted in the case said the preacher’s arrest occurred after a video of him stretching assistance to Palestine surfaced on social media.“One FIR was lodged earlier this week based on which police made the arrests on Friday and Saturday. Mr. Barkati meanwhile has been taken into preventive custody after a video of him had appeared on social media. He was heard offering support to one of the two parties in conflict (Palestine). There is nothing wrong as such but there are elements who want to use the current crisis to stoke violence,” said a senior police officer suing anonymity.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar told the police had detained 21 people, including 20 in Srinagar and one in Shopian. Sources in the J&K police department also said officials were watching social media websites for content that aims to open disorder on the streets of Kashmir. In a report published Saturday, the J&K Police said the team won’t “allow cynical encashment of the public anger to trigger violence”.

“J&K Police is keeping a very close watch on elements who are attempting to leverage the unfortunate situation in Palestine to disturb public peace and order in the Kashmir valley. We are a professional force and are sensitive to public anguish. But J&K police has a legal responsibility to ensure law and order as well.”It wouldn’t let the pessimistic encashment of public outrage trigger disorder, chaos, and turmoil on Kashmir streets. Stating an opinion is liberty but engineering and instigating confusion on the streets is illegal. All irresponsible social media remarks that appear in actual intensity and violation of the law including Covid protocol will draw legal claims. IGP Kashmir urges cooperation of all citizens.,” the police statement said.

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Protests in aid of Palestinians burst out in Kashmir this week after anxieties between Israel and Palestine escalated. In one of the most critical charges since 2014, Israel attacked Gaza with airstrikes following rocket fire from the Hamas-run area, resulting in at least 140 deaths. In a fresh clash Saturday, an Israeli airstrike destroyed a high-rise building that housed The Associated Press and other media offices in the Gaza Strip.


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