Every day in Kashmir is a day of mourning for the locals, as it brings news of more rebels and unarmed civilians killed somewhere in the region.
With the killing of two rebels in an encounter in South Kashmir on November 29, the death toll in violence-related incidents has climbed to 48 in November. According to official data, 36 were rebels, eight civilians, three Army men and a paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force man.
More than 10 rebel commanders were killed in the last 7 days of the month in the disputed region, including Lashkar-e-Taiba’s top commander Naveed Jatt, Azad Malik, and Umar Ganie of Hizbul Mujahideen.
The roots of the Kashmir conflict date back to 1947, to the partition of British India into the new states of India and Pakistan. Kashmir today stands divided between India and Pakistan, with a de facto border established between them known as the Line of Control.
The two nations have fought three wars over Kashmir. The armed movement against Indian rule in Kashmir started around late 1988. Unofficial estimates suggest that since then more than 90,000 people have been killed in Kashmir. There have been charges of rapes, custodial killings, enforced disappearances, arson, and torture against the more half a million soldiers deployed in the region.
Zafar Dar is a freelance photojournalist based in Kashmir.