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‘We will end the illegal occupation of PoK’: Jaishankar amid violent protests in Muzaffarabad

Mumbai: As intensified protests in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad against high prices of wheat, flour, electricity bills and taxes enter their fourth day, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar reiterated India’s stand that the region is an integral part of Indian territory and “one day we will end the illegal occupation of the PoK”.

The disputed region witnessed clashes on Saturday between the police and activists of a rights movement, leaving at least one police official dead and injuring over 100 people, mostly policemen. A complete strike has also been observed in the territory since Friday, bringing life to a halt. Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will convene a high-level meeting on Monday to discuss the ongoing situation as the negotiations between the protesters and the state government ended in a deadlock.

Dramatic scenes unfolded in Muzaffarabad as police launched a violent crackdown on protesters demonstrating against high inflation and heavy taxation, resorting to teargas shelling and aerial firing. The police had conducted overnight raids and arrested various leaders and activists. The violent protesters damaged multiple vehicles, including a magistrate’s car on the Poonch-Kotli road.

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