Indian troops kill 5 in held Kashmir

Published August 25, 2021
An Indian paramilitary soldier patrols during curfew in Srinagar. — AP/File
An Indian paramilitary soldier patrols during curfew in Srinagar. — AP/File

SRINAGAR: Indian forces killed two senior Kashmiri commanders and three other fighters in two separate operations in disputed and occupied territories of Kashmir, police claimed on Tuesday.

Police and soldiers raided a village in Sopore area late on Monday and engaged at least three alleged fighters hiding in a house in a gun battle, police said. Three local fighters were killed in the clash, which ended on Tuesday, police said. They said troops recovered a rifle and two pistols from the site.

Residents said troops used explosives to blast a civilian house during the fighting, a common tactic employed by Indian troops in occupied Kashmir.

On Monday, a team of 10 counterinsurgency policemen dressed in civilian clothes fatally shot chief of the Resistance Front group and his deputy in Srinagar, officials said. Inspector-General Vijay Kumar said the two, Abbas Sheikh and Saqib Manzoor, fired at police, but were killed in a brief retaliatory shootout. He called the killings a big success against fighters in the disputed region.

Witnesses, however, said armed men cornered the two in a playground and killed them at close range in assassination style.

Abbas was a senior commander who had been arrested twice by Indian forces but rejoined people fighting against Indian rule in the region. A police statement said he helped revive armed resistance in Srinagar and recruited at least seven men to his group.

Police said the two were involved in the killing of several pro-India political activists, police officials and civilians and also carried out attacks on government forces. Armed groups in occupied Kashmir have been fighting New Delhi’s rule over the region since 1989. Many Kashmiris support their goal of uniting the territory either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

Published in Dawn, August 25th, 2021

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