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Seven killed in gun battles in Indian-controlled Kashmir

Indian security forces during an encounter with gunmen in Anantnag district of Kashmir on Wednesday, September 13, 2023. (Photo by PTI)

 At least seven people have been killed in two separate gunfights between the Indian security forces and gunmen in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Three Indian security officers died in a gunfight during a search operation in the Anantnag district of South Kashmir on Wednesday.

In another encounter, two gunmen along with an Indian army soldier and a police officer were killed in the border district of Rajouri.

A joint party of police and army launched a search operation on September 12 evening after getting inputs about the presence of suspected gunmen in the forests of the Kokernag area of Anantnag in South Kashmir.

Colonel Manpreet Singh, Major Ashish, Deputy Superintendent of Jammu and Kashmir Police Humayun Bhat were critically injured by gunshots while crossing a stream during the search operation. The security officers died on Wednesday, officials said in Srinagar, The Hindu reported.

On its X handle, the Jammu and Kashmir Police posted that the region’s police chief  Dilbagh Singh while condoling the demise of the officers said that “the perpetrators of the criminal act would be brought to justice soon.”

Army helicopters and drones have been pressed into service to track the gunmen.  

In a separate gunfight in the mountainous region of Rajouri, the Indian troops killed two gunmen while an army soldier and police officer also died during the battle.

Earlier this year, at least 10 Indian army soldiers were killed in two separate encounters in Poonch and Rajouri districts of the Pir Panjal region.

The gunfights lay bare the Indian right-wing BJP government's claim that its muscular policies have brought normalcy to the Himalayan region

In 2019, New Delhi revoked Article 370 of the Indian constitution stripping the disputed region of its limited autonomy.

The Modi-led BJP government had said that the step would integrate Kashmir with the rest of India and would eliminate terrorism bringing peace to the region.

However, intermittent gunfights in the region continue to take place also claiming innocent lives. 

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence from British rule in 1947. The disputed region is claimed by both countries.

India and Pakistan have also fought three wars over the disputed territory.

Kashmir’s mostly Muslim population has been demanding that the region be given independence.


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