• Saturday, Nov 27, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:24 am

Hindus fearful in Indian Kashmir after wave of assassinations

  • Published at 01:03 pm October 9th, 2021
Kashmir
People break police cordon as they carry the body of Supinder Kour, a school teacher who was shot and killed by suspected militants on Thursday, during her funeral in Srinagar, October 8, 2021. Reuters

At least 28 civilians have been killed by suspected militants this year in the Muslim-majority region

Small groups of militants armed with pistols have carried out a spate of targeted killings in Indian Kashmir, sowing fear among some minority communities, according to security officials and residents.

At least 28 civilians have been killed by suspected militants this year in the Muslim-majority region, which has been wracked by an armed insurrection against New Delhi since the 1990s.

Kashmir is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan but ruled in parts by the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Although most of those shot dead recently have been Muslims, the killing this week of a number of Hindus and a Sikh led police to say that religious minorities were now being targetted.

Two teachers, one Hindu and one Sikh were shot dead inside a government school in the main city of Srinagar on Thursday.

Based on information recovered from the body of an insurgent commander killed last month, Indian authorities believe The Resistance Front (TRF) militant group is targetting political workers and civilians, a senior police official told Reuters.

In a statement on social media this week, TRF said it was not targetting people on the basis of their religion but those working for Indian authorities. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the statement.


Also Read - Deployment of 10,000 fresh troops sparks fear in Kashmir


"The [cells] are small and at least three dozen militants with pistols are operating in Kashmir with a main focus on Srinagar," the official said, declining to be named.

Indian police have described the TRF as a front for Pakistan-based militant organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen. Pakistan has said it only provides moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.

The TRF emerged in the wake of the Indian government's move to split the former state of Jammu and Kashmir into two federally-administered regions in August 2019.

Accompanied by a harsh lockdown and strict communications curbs, the decision was widely unpopular in the Kashmir valley and may have pushed more young people to take up arms, a security official said.

"They were desperate and now they have been provided small arms including pistols and grenades," the official said, declining to be named.

Vijay Kumar, Kashmir Valley's police chief, said militant groups had changed their strategy in response to a crackdown by security forces, but local authorities were already pursuing several leads into the recent spate of killings.

But members of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandit community, some of whom returned to the Kashmir valley after leaving during the early years of militancy, were unnerved by the violence.


Also Read - Men accused of gang raping, killing Kashmir minor plead not guilty


"There is lot of fear among the community members and we are afraid of coming out of our homes," a Kashmiri Pandit living in the northern district of Baramulla told Reuters.

The senior police official said the recent killings of members of minority communities were aimed at preventing the return of the Kashmiri Pandits.

Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, appealed to minority community members not to flee, urging the local administration to provide better security.

Abdullah said: "I believe these attacks are aimed to drive a wedge between the communities and to push them out of Kashmir.” 

"We can't let that happen," he added.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail