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Violence in Kashmir continues unabated despite coronavirus pandemic

Relatives and neighbours offer funeral prayers for Bashir Ahmed, a civilian who died during a gun-battle between government forces and suspected militants, in Srinagar on July 1, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Shahana Butt
Press TV, Kashmir

Organization Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society in Kashmir reveals 229 killings, over 100 military operations, 55 Internet shutdowns, and destruction of scores of properties in Kashmir valley in the first half of 2020.

Despite the global outbreak of coronavirus, the violence in Kashmir continues unabated. So far, the valley region has witnessed extrajudicial execution of 34 civilians and 54 armed force personnel besides pro freedom militia.

Official reports say since the onset of 2020 more than 110 militants have been killed in Kashmir during the anti militancy operations initiated by the Indian government. The aim of the anti militancy operation is to neutralize all the militant outfits by the end of 2020. 

Despite adoption of tougher measures to deal with the growing anti India sentiments and armed rebellion, there seems a surge in youths taking up arms against Indian rule. According to official figures, 139 youths have joined pro-freedom fighting groups in 2019.

After New Delhi scrapped Kashmir’s special status in august 2019, the region has slipped into stagnant mode where people registered their resentment through lockdown. However, New Delhi says the move aimed at mainstreaming Kashmir with the rest of India in order to bring development and prosperity to the region.

Earlier this week, people in Kashmir were outraged after an image of a three-year-old sitting on the chest of his dead grandfather surfaced on social media. Local Police say the civilian was killed by the militants during an ambush; however, the victim's family opposes the police version.

Although the images have triggered global outrage and condemnations, Kashmiris say many questions remain unanswered about this incident and many other incidents that have happened over the years in Kashmir.

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