SRINAGAR: Indian troops on Tuesday killed at least three Kashmiris during an operation in the Kulgam and Pulwama districts of the occupied region.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the Indian troops killed three youth during cordon and search operations. Whereas, an Indian soldier also lost his life and two other personnel received injuries in a gun battle.
Subsequently, people took to the streets and staged forceful demonstrations against the killing of the youth. Indian police and troops fired pellets and teargas shells to disperse the protesters, triggering clashes between the demonstrators and the forces’ personnel. Several protesters were injured during the clashes.
The occupation authorities have shut down internet services in the district while train service also remained suspended in the occupied territory.
At least eight people, including a civilian and an Indian army soldier, were killed on Sunday, capping off one of the deadliest weeks this year in a region already suffering its worst bloodshed in a decade.
The disputed region has witnessed a spike in violence since Narendra Modi, the Indian prime minister, took power in 2014. Analysts say the hardline policies adopted by the Hindu nationalist government may further worsen the situation.
So far this year, over 500 people, including a large number of civilians, have been killed in occupied Kashmir and more than half of them were freedom fighters fighting against the Indian rule. The number of the dead is the highest in the state since 2008 when 505 people were killed.
It is the deadliest year since 2008, said the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies, underscoring a worsening security situation in the Muslim-majority region controlled by India and half a million of its troops.
A police official said the high number of casualties in 2018 was the result of “good actionable information “leading them to armed rebels and their hideouts.
However, critics and local resistance leadership disagree. They say the Indian forces were escalating tensions in the restive region ahead of general elections next year in order to look tough on “Pakistan and militancy”.