Five Indian Soldiers Amongst Seven Killed in Indian Occupied Kashmir

October 13, 2021

At least five Indian soldiers and two armed men were killed in a series of gun battles in India-occupied Kashmir on Monday, where security forces have increased operations following several civilian killings in recent days.In the deadliest incident for Indian forces in the Himalayan region this year, four soldiers and one officer were killed in a shootout, according to a military spokesman.

“They were transferred to a nearby medical facility but died as a result of their injuries,” said spokesman Lt Col Davinder Anand.

“The operation is still going on,” he added.The disputed Muslim-majority region has been on edge since the killing of three Hindus and a Sikh, including two teachers, last week, which prompted an Indian crackdown.

Security forces shot dead a man in the northern part of the region, claiming he was a member of The Resistance Front (TRF). According to police chief Vijay Kumar, the deceased was a suspect in the killing of a civilian driver, and security forces had been looking for him after arresting four of his associates on Sunday.Kumar stated, “He was shot dead this morning.”

Another armed man was killed in a gun battle in south Kashmir, according to Kumar.The shootings were the deadliest attack on military forces in the area since a ceasefire was declared along the Line of Control in February.

Tensions have risen further in recent weeks as a result of a spate of shootings of civilians in the area, with seven people killed last week alone in attacks claimed by a new anti-Indian occupation group.Following the shootings, 650 residents were detained on suspicion of having ties to banned religious and armed groups, according to a police source.

“No stone will be left unturned in our pursuit of the murderers,” said the senior police officer.According to authorities, at least 29 civilians, including workers from pro-India political parties, have been killed in the disputed region this year, one of whom was killed by Indian forces.The Resistance Front, a relatively new group, claimed responsibility for the seven killings and accused those killed of working for occupier mercenary forces and stooges.The statements, which were only issued in English, were shared in a number of WhatsApp groups and could not be independently verified.Authorities said one of the two men killed on Monday was suspected of being involved. According to his family, Indian soldiers kidnapped him on Sunday and then shot him while he was in their custody.

Human Rights Watch demanded that perpetrators as well as Indian forces accused of abuses such as harassment, torture, and extrajudicial killings be held accountable.

“Kashmiris are caught in an endless cycle of violence caused by militant attacks and abuses by government authorities and security forces,” said HRW’s South Asia director Meenakshi Ganguly in a statement.

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