Four killed in occupied Kashmir shootout

Published June 13, 2021
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the site of the shootout at Sopore, 55 kilometers north of Srinagar in India-occupied Kashmir. — AP
Indian paramilitary soldiers stand guard near the site of the shootout at Sopore, 55 kilometers north of Srinagar in India-occupied Kashmir. — AP

SRINAGAR/ISLAMABAD: A heated gunbattle between fighters and Indian police broke out on Saturday in held Kashmir, killing at least two police and two civilians, officials said.

Anti-India protests later erupted during the civilians’ funerals in Sopore, the northwestern town in Baramulla district where the fighting took place, after local residents alleged police had shot and killed one of the civilians after the fighters fled the scene.

Police director general Dilbag Singh told reporters that fighters had opened fire on a group of police who were enforcing coronavirus restrictions in the main market of Sopore, and police returned fire.

Amid the shooting, Singh said two civilians and two policemen were killed, while two officers and a civilian were injured. He spoke during a wreath-laying ceremony for the slain police personnel in Srinagar.Manzoor Ahmed Laway, a fruit vendor, said that a police vehicle arrived in the market as his business partner went to have a cup of tea. The vehicle came under attack and he was shot in the crossfire, Laway said.

Hundreds of people participated in separate funerals for the dead civilians in Sopore, where mourners chanted pro-rebel and anti-India slogans and called for an end to Indian rule over held Kashmir.Pakistan strongly condemned killing of three more innocent Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces in Baramulla district of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

A press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Indian occupation army has intensified extra-judicial killings of the Kashmirs in so-called “cordon-and-search” operations despite ravaging Covid 19 pandemic. More than 55 Kashmiris have been killed this year alone by the Indian occupation forces. Arbitrary detention of Kashmiri youth also continues unabated. India should be well aware that no amount of Indian brutalisation will be able to subjugate the Kashmiris and break their will in their struggle for self-determination.

Pakistan has consistently emphasised that gross and systematic violations of human rights being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces in IIOJK warrant investigation by the UN Commission of Inquiry, as recommended by the OHCHR in its reports of 2018 and 2019.

Pakistan reiterates its call for independent inquiry under international scrutiny to investigate the unabated extra-judicial killings of Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces and to bring the perpetrators of these heinous crimes to justice.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2021

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