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Clash in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir Prompts Curfew Amid Protests Against Inflation and Power Cuts

A clash erupted between police and protesters in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir’s (PoK) Dadyal amid demonstrations against soaring inflation and power cuts, resulting in multiple injuries in Mirpur district. The incident prompted Pakistani authorities to impose a curfew on Friday in the region, also known as Azad Kashmir.

Dozens of protestors expressed outrage over the deployment of FC and Ranger troops in Muzaffarabad, chasing away police. Reports indicate tear gas shell firings on school students in Mirpur. Rights activists denounced the “state-sponsored violence” as a tactic to enforce Section 144 and suppress protests scheduled for May 11 outside the legislative assembly in Muzaffarabad.

The United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) condemned the arrests and the imposition of Article 144 in the region illegally occupied by Pakistan. PoK-based UKPNP strongly condemned recent arrests of activists, including Ali Shamriaz, and raised concerns about alleged brutal beatings and torture by Pak authorities.

UKPNP leaders, including Shaukat Ali Kashmiri and Nasir Aziz Khan, expressed dismay at the crackdown on peaceful activists and heavy deployment of security forces. They demanded the immediate release of all arrested activists and urged the UN and human rights organizations to intervene urgently.

Kashmir has remained a contentious issue between Pakistan and India since the partition of the Indian subcontinent. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reported ongoing human rights abuses in the illegally occupied region, highlighting limited national media coverage leading to a lack of documentation on human rights violations.

Last year, PoK witnessed severe human rights violations amid protests against government decisions, including withdrawal of subsidies on wheat flour and electricity price hikes. Crackdowns on activists and demonstrators resulted in arrests and accusations of torture in custody.

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