Indian police raid in occupied Kashmir kills two civilians, two alleged freedom fighters

Published November 16, 2021
Indian soldiers during an operation in Srinagar. —AP/File
Indian soldiers during an operation in Srinagar. —AP/File

Four people have died in Indian-administered Kashmir after a deadly raid by government forces on in the disputed region's main city, police and families of the victims said on Tuesday.

The region's head of police, Vijay Kumar, said that alleged militants fired indiscriminately at police and soldiers when they cordoned off a business centre on Monday night in Srinagar, following a tip that they were hiding there.

The ensuing clash led to the deaths of two civilians and two suspected fighters, Kumar told reporters on Tuesday. However, families of the slain civilians said Indian troops used them as human shields during the deadly standoff.

Police said the civilians were killed in the crossfire and were identified as the shopping centre's owner, Mohammad Altaf Bhat, and a trader, Mudassir Ahmed.

Also read: India sends thousands more troops to occupied Kashmir

The police chief said Ahmed, a dental surgeon and real estate dealer who had rented an office space in the building, was an overground worker, a term Indian authorities use for rebel sympathisers and their civilian supporters.

Eyewitnesses and family members of the two killed civilians rejected the police account, saying the shopping centre owner and trader were picked up by troops after they had cordoned off the area and taken them inside the building in the presence of dozens of civilians.

A shopkeeper, Nazir Ahmed, said government forces assembled dozens of the area's shopkeepers and others in a showroom and snatched cellphones from them.

He said later troops asked the shopping centre's owner, Bhat, to accompany them inside the building, and the trader Ahmed also went with them.

Abdul Majid, Bhat's elder brother, said his brother was used as a human shield and killed in cold blood.

He was speaking from the family home where relatives were waiting for the return of the body to allow for a traditional burial. "He was innocent,” the brother added.

Opinion

The sixth wave

The sixth wave

PCR testing has drastically gone down in Pakistan and our disease surveillance system needs much more strengthening.

Editorial

Udaipur killing
Updated 01 Jul, 2022

Udaipur killing

The crime committed in Udaipur did not happen in a vacuum.
Unacceptable demand
01 Jul, 2022

Unacceptable demand

THE finance ministry’s projection of 15pc inflation, much higher than the targeted rate of 11.5pc, during the new...
Tough times ahead
01 Jul, 2022

Tough times ahead

THE finance ministry’s projection of 15pc inflation, much higher than the targeted rate of 11.5pc, during the new...
More ‘prior actions’
Updated 30 Jun, 2022

More ‘prior actions’

It is crucial that the IMF reconsiders its stance and releases the funds at the earliest to calm uneasy markets.
Growing power crisis
30 Jun, 2022

Growing power crisis

THE country’s escalating power crisis risks exacerbating the law-and-order situation as people take to the streets...
Attack on polio team
30 Jun, 2022

Attack on polio team

THE threat of deadly violence never seems to diminish for health workers and police officials involved in...