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Violent Clashes in PoK between Police and Protesters Leave One Officer Dead

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Amid a crippling strike on Friday, violent clashes erupted between security forces and protesters in various areas of Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). According to reports, one police officer lost his life, and over 100 individuals, predominantly policemen, sustained injuries during the clashes.

The Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC), comprised of traders advocating for subsidized wheat flour and fair electricity prices in the region, organized a rally that faced opposition from the police. Sub-inspector Adnan Qureshi tragically passed away from a gunshot wound in the chest in Islamgarh during the confrontation.

Following the arrests of around 70 JAAC activists, tensions escalated, leading to serious clashes in Dadyal. This prompted the committee to announce a strike on Friday, escalating the situation in Muzaffarabad and other divisions of PoK.

Efforts to prevent large protests in Muzaffarabad were made by authorities who blocked access points and made additional arrests. Despite these measures, clashes continued, resulting in injuries to a police officer, a young boy, and numerous other individuals.

Police resorted to teargas shelling and aerial firing in response to stone and bottle throwing by protesters. At least 78 policemen were injured in Kotli, with other injuries reported in various districts of PoK, including Rehaan Galli, Sehnsa Baroiyan, and Doliya Jattan.

In response to the protests, the government of PoK expressed willingness to engage in dialogue to address the demands of the protesters. Finance Minister Abdul Majid Khan emphasized the government’s commitment to resolving issues peacefully and reiterated the readiness for negotiations.

Rachel Adams

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