Cop ‘lynched’, civilians killed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Why did violent protests break out in PoK?

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Cop ‘lynched’, civilians killed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Why did violent protests break out in PoK?

Protests in PoK: After clashes between protestors and security forces on Saturday, tensions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir are still high. Normal life and business have been disrupted. Following violent outbursts in Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), saw the closure of its markets, schools, and workplaces for the second day in a row. Pakistani security forces launched a huge crackdown on Friday after the Awami Action Committee (AAC) staged rallies against inflation in several regions of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), according to local media. On May 10, a wheel-jam and shutter-down strike in Muzaffarabad brought the city to a complete halt. The AAC promised to stage further protests in response to the disruption of their nonviolent actions.

The AAC called for a nonviolent demonstration on Friday in opposition to excessive taxes, electricity costs, and the unexpected increase in inflation. The Dawn stated that as the police started using tear gas to shell neighborhoods and mosques, fighting broke out. This resulted in the calling of strikes in several PoK regions, including Samahni, Sehansa, Mirpur, Rawalakot, Khuiratta, Tattapani, and Hattian Bala.

What is happening in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir?

The Awami Action Committee organized a series of nonviolent marches to Muzaffarabad, PoK, on Friday to express opposition to the "unjust" tariffs on energy bills that have caused inflation to soar. When protesters and police battled close to Islam Garh, the protests quickly descended into violence, according to Geo News. In Muzaffarabad, the AAC called for a wheel-jam and shutter-down protest, which brought about a halt to commerce. Conflicts resulted from police blocking the demonstrators' path with barricades on the routes leading into the city. Later, on Saturday, after the police detained several leaders and activists in nocturnal raids, the committee declared a strike.

Despite the implementation of Section 144 by the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir government, which resulted in the closure of educational institutions and offices on May 10 and 11, a large number of people turned out on Saturday throughout all districts of the region. Social media images and videos showed police putting their batons down on demonstrators and trying to scatter the group with tear gas. Numerous protestors and police officers were hurt on Friday following violent altercations, according to a report by Geo News.

According to PoK activist Amjad Ayub Mirza, at least two people have died in the fighting between Pakistani military and unarmed villagers, as reported by ANI. He added that one police SHO perished in the clashes after being allegedly lynched by demonstrators. Mirza said that the situation is out of control and that the Centre "cannot remain aloof," calling on the Indian government to get in. The situation is getting out of control, he remarked. In actuality, it's already out of control. and India should now concentrate all of its efforts on helping Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan, become independent.