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Jammu and Kashmir: 6 civilians killed by Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir

8th May 2018
Jammu and Kashmir: 6 civilians killed by Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir

By Zahid Rafiq

 

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir, India (AA): Pro-Independence leaders in Jammu and Kashmir called for a shutdown on Monday, a day after five militants and six civilians were killed by the Indian security forces.

Offices, schools and businesses remained completely shut while public and local transport remained off the roads.

The government responded by imposing curfew-like restrictions — suspending cellular internet and train services in the region.

Hundreds of streets were barricaded with barbed wires as heavily armed soldiers kept vigil.

Monday’s shutdown was called for by pro-Independence leaders who had announced a sit-in protest outside the Civil Secretariat in capital Srinagar.

According to a statement from the Hurriyat, resistance leader Mirwaiz Umar, who has been under house-arrest since Saturday, tried to break the cordon and was detained by the police. Another top resistance leader, Yasin Malik, has been in police detention since Saturday. Top octogenarian Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani is also under house arrest.

On Sunday, five militants were killed when Indian forces ambushed the house they were in for the night. They included two senior militant commanders and a sociology professor at the Kashmir University, who is believed to have recently joined militant ranks. He had, according to reports, left his university in Srinagar on Friday afternoon and was killed on Sunday morning.

The civilians were killed when Indian forces allegedly opened fire at a mass protest held in support of the slain militants. Thousands who came out in support of the militants shouted slogans calling for Kashmir’s independence from India and threw stones at heavily-armed Indian forces.

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

The two countries have fought three wars — in 1948, 1965 and 1971 — since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.

Also, in Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, Indian and Pakistani troops have fought intermittently since 1984. A cease-fire came into effect in 2003.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

[Photo: Relatives of teenager Umar Kumar, who was shot dead after the clashes erupt following a gun battle between rebels and Indian forces, mourn during his funeral ceremony in Kashmir, India on May 03, 2018. Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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