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

Editorial

Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...
Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...