Menu
Account

Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir

 
 

SHOPIAN, KASHMIR — April 3: A security clampdown and clashes continued for the third straight day on Tuesday after massive violence erupted following the killing of 20 people, including 13 rebels, four civilians and three Indian Army personnel over the weekend in disputed Kashmir. The violent weekend was one of the deadliest in the last 20 years of armed insurgency in the valley.

Another civilian was killed after he was fired upon with a pellet gun by government forces in north Kashmir, raising the civilian death toll to five, and over a dozen people were injured in clashes on Tuesday.

More than 200 civilians were injured in the clashes over the week. At least 50 had eye injuries from pellet guns. According to doctors at a local hospital in Srinagar, a few may lose their eyesight as a result of the injuries. Residents said government troops fired live ammunition and shotgun pellets into the crowds of mostly young protesters.

Authorities have suspended cellphone internet services in the entire valley for an indefinite period to prevent anti-India demonstrations from being organized.

Pro-freedom groups have called for a four-day shutdown in Kashmir to protest against the killings of Kashmiris by Indian forces and the government has announced the curfew in parts of the valley.

In south Kashmir, villages have increasingly turned into rebel strongholds following the killing of a popular commander, Burhan Wani, by Indian forces in 2016. Since then, more people have openly supported the cause of armed groups battling Indian rule in Kashmir.

Pakistan strongly condemned Sunday’s violence, registered a protest, and expressed solidarity with Kashmiris. “This mindless killing spree exposes, yet again, the ugly, inhuman face of the state-terrorism that India has been perpetrating against the Kashmiris for decades,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “very concerned” over the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and wants all member states to protect their civilians, his spokesperson said in a statement on Monday.

Since the end of British colonial rule in 1947, Kashmir has been divided between rivals India and Pakistan. The two nuclear-armed countries have fought two of their three wars over Muslim-majority Kashmir, which they both claim in full but rule in part.

Ahmer Khan is an independent photo and radio journalist. He tweets at @ahmermkhan

Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
A man cries after his relative, a rebel, was killed in a gunfight with Indian troops in Shopian town of south Kashmir on Sunday, April 1, 2018.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers carry the body of rebel Ishfaq Ahmed, who was killed in a gunfight along with five associates in south Kashmir.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Sister of rebel Ishfaq Ahmed hugs his body during his funeral procession in south Kashmir. Ahmed had joined rebel ranks a few months earlier to fight Indian rule in disputed Kashmir.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Father of rebel Ishfaq Ahmed has the last glimpse of his son during his funeral procession in Shopain, south of Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian-administered Kashmir.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers carry the body of rebel Ishfaq Ahmed in his native village in Shopian town of south Kashmir. Twenty people, including 13 militants, four civilians, and three Indian forces, were killed in Indian Kashmir on Sunday in some of the fiercest fighting this year in the restive Himalayan region.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers have the last glimpse of rebel commander Zubair Ahmed Turray’s body. He was killed along with six associates in another gunfight with Indian government forces in Shopian town of Kashmir. Army officials called the operation a major success. “It is a special day for our forces,” Lt. Gen. A. K. Bhatt said after killing 13 militants in three separate operations.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers offer funeral prayers while hanging on branches of a tree in Shopian town of south Kashmir. Thousands of people attended the funeral processions of rebels killed in the gunfights.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers take cover after Indian forces fire live rounds, teargas shells, and metal pellets on the funeral procession of a rebel commander, Zubair Ahmad Turray, on Sunday afternoon. This year, dozens of people, including civilians, have been killed in the fighting between security forces and rebels.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri youth are engulfed in tear gas smoke as Indian government forces clash with protesters in southern Kashmir. On April 1, as a gun battle raged in two villages of Shopian town, where at least 12 militants were killed, protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against Indian forces.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers visit the scene of houses destroyed during a gunfight between rebels and Indian forces on April 1, 2018. Seven rebel bodies were recovered from the debris of the three houses razed to rubble in heavy shelling by the Indian forces.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
A kitchen in which Indian forces took positions to fire at the neighboring house, where rebels took shelter.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri villagers visit the scene of houses destroyed during a gunfight. Anti-India sentiment runs deep in Kashmir, which in recent years has seen renewed rebel attacks and repeated public protests against Indian rule.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
The mother of an injured Kashmiri youth reacts outside the emergency ward of the hospital. Her son was fired upon by Indian forces during clashes between Indian government forces and protesters in north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on April 3, 2018.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Rebels and Civilians Killed as Violence Surges in Kashmir
Kashmiri Muslims shout anti-India slogans as they carry the body of Gowhar Ahmed, 22, from a hospital in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir on Tuesday, April 3, 2018. Ahmed succumbed to his injuries after he was hit on the head with a firearm on Monday, taking the civilian death toll to five.
Image Credit: Ahmer Khan
Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly newsletter
The Diplomat Brief