Indian soldier, five fighters killed in occupied Kashmir

Published July 3, 2021
The occupied region has seen a fresh rise in clashes between Indian forces and fighters in recent weeks. — AFP/File
The occupied region has seen a fresh rise in clashes between Indian forces and fighters in recent weeks. — AFP/File

SRINAGAR: Five fighters and an Indian soldier were killed on Friday in the latest of a series of clashes in India-occupied Kashmir that have left 17 dead in two weeks.

The six died in Rajpora in a gunfight that started on Thursday night. Police said the five fighters were members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group.

The occupied region has seen a fresh rise in clashes between Indian forces and fighters in recent weeks.

Three fighters were killed in Kulgam forest on Wednesday, a day after police claimed that a top leader, Nadeem Abrar, was killed while in custody. According to police, Abrar was captured during a gun battle on Monday and taken to a house where he had hidden a rifle. He was killed after an associate fired at Indian troops as they approached, police claimed.

Fighters have killed six people including a police intelligence officer, a special police officer and his wife and daughter in attacks over the past three days.

The Foreign Office condemns extra-judicial killing of a 17-year-old Kashmiri cricketer

The Indian military said on Thursday that 61 Kashmiri fighters had been killed this year so far.

Indian forces have been on the alert since the first known drone attack damaged a small building and injured two personnel at an air base inside the main airport in occupied Jammu.

The surge in strife came after 14 pro-India leaders from occupied Kashmir held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month.

The leaders included three chief ministers of the former Jammu and Kashmir state who were detained for months after New Delhi cancelled the region’s semi-autonomous status on Aug 5, 2019.

Kashmiris’ disenchantment with New Delhi has been steadily rising since freedom fighters stepped up their resistance against Indian rule in 1989. The conflict has left tens of thousands dead, mainly civilians. There are about 500,000 Indian troops in the region.

The Foreign Office condemned the extra-judicial killing of a 17-year-old Kashmiri, Zakir Bashir, by the occupation forces in Kulgam district on Wednesday, APP reported on Friday. Bashir, a cricketer, was tortured by Indian soldiers before being shot dead.

“Gross and systematic human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir warrant investigation by the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI), as recommended by the Office of the United Nations High Commis­sioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in its reports of 2018 and 2019,” Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said in a statement.

The spokesperson said India must realise that no amount of brutality can subjugate Kashmiris nor break their will in their struggle for the right to self-determination.

He called upon the international community to take note of ‘crimes committed by India in the shape of extra-judicial killings and abductions of Kashmiri people’.

During this year alone, the Indian forces have killed 57 Kashmiris in extra-judicial encounters, arbitrarily detained and arres­ted 350 people and destroyed 58 houses.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2021

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