Indian-held Kashmir erupts in deadly violence, killing 7

SRINAGAR, India — Indian troops killed three suspected rebels during a gunbattle Saturday in the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir, while police blamed insurgents for killing three other men during a day of violence and protests in the disputed region.

Counterinsurgency police and paramilitary soldiers staged a morning raid on a cluster of homes in a densely populated neighbourhood of Srinagar after getting a tip that militants were hiding there, police said. Troops asked the trapped militants to surrender but they instead started shooting and sparked a gunbattle, police said.

As the militants and government troops exchanged gunfire, anti-India protests and clashes erupted in several places. Hundreds of demonstrators tried to reach the site of the standoff and threw rocks at troops in a bid to help the rebels escape.

Police and paramilitary soldiers fired shotgun pellets and tear gas to stop the protesters, and at least one protester was run over and killed by a military vehicle. As the violence spiraled, shops in the city shuttered and authorities switched off internet services to make organizing protests more difficult.

Nuclear-armed India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim it in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting Indian rule since 1989, demanding Indian-controlled Kashmir be made part of Pakistan or become an independent country.

Most Kashmiris support the rebels’ cause while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control. In recent years, mainly young Kashmiris have displayed open solidarity with rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations. Last year, at least 29 civilians were killed and hundreds were wounded during such clashes.

During Saturday’s fierce confrontation, demonstrators chanted pro-rebel slogans such as “Go India, go back” and “We want freedom.” Police said they were investigating the death of the man killed in what they called a “road accident.”

Top separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq called the young man’s death a murder and he and others called for a general strike on Sunday in protest of the day’s killings.

“How a murder was committed by the forces today and then brazenly denied! Is there no sense of humanity left in India?” Farooq wrote on Twitter, as he also uploaded a video which shows an armoured vehicle knocking down a youth.

Injuries were reported to at least two protesters, three journalists, three soldiers and a police officer.

S.P. Vaid, police director-general, told reporters that Saturday’s operation that killed the three militants was a “clean” one.

Meanwhile, gunmen abducted two men from their homes in northern Hajin town late Friday. Their bodies, riddled with bullets, were recovered early Saturday.

Gunmen also entered a civilian home in Sopore area and sprayed bullets at the residents, police said, leading to death of a young man. His wife was critically wounded.

Police accused militants for carrying out these killings, though no rebel group has claimed responsibility.

Kashmiris make no secret of their fury at killings by government forces, which regularly trigger bloody protests and demands for freedom from Indian rule. But the reactions are far more complicated, tangled in fear and loyalty, when residents accused of being informers are targeted.

 

Just Posted

Red Deer Mayor: City council responding to social and safety issues

Fellow Red Deerians, We have all had a growing awareness that Red… Continue reading

Women’s transitional roles explored in The Pink Cloudless exhibit by Red Deer artist

Alysse Bowd explores the gap between ‘maidenhood and motherhood’

Red Deer grassroots campaign takes aim at drugs, homelessness

Online support for Stand Up For A Safe Community

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Ontario finance minister projects $15B deficit for province

TORONTO — Ontario’s finance minister said the province will have to make… Continue reading

Trump drops civil tone, slams Kavanaugh accuser credibility

WASHINGTON — Abandoning his previous restraint, President Donald Trump challenged the credibility… Continue reading

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

WILMINGTON, N.C. — A new round of evacuations was ordered in South… Continue reading

Ancient treasures on show in Germany reveal turbulent past

BERLIN — An arrowhead firmly lodged in the skull of an ancient… Continue reading

Eerily empty condo-style retail mall in Calgary postpones grand opening

CALGARY — The developer of a nearly empty new mall just north… Continue reading

Mass tourism threatens Croatia’s ‘Game of Thrones’ town

DUBROVNIK, Croatia — Marc van Bloemen has lived in the old town… Continue reading

Euro 2024 study: Human rights concern in Turkey, not Germany

A week before the 2024 European Championship vote, UEFA expressed concern on… Continue reading

Golf’s European Tour marks first 59

After 46 years, the European Tour finally has its first round of… Continue reading

Most Read