SRINAGAR: Indian troops killed five Kashmiris in Occupied Kashmir on Sunday, branding four of them as rebels.
According to an Indian police official, ‘rebels’ were hiding in a house in the village of Prisal south of Srinagar when Indian army and police personnel surrounded it. Five Kashmiris, including the young son of the owner of the house, were killed in a subsequent ‘encounter’.
Following the incident, Indian army and police officials branded four of the deceased Kashmiris as ‘rebels’. “Four rebels, two Indian soldiers and a civilian were killed in the encounter,” claimed S P Pani, the deputy inspector general of police. Three Indian soldiers were injured in the exchange of fire, officials said.
The Indian army spokesman claimed the force seized four weapons from the site of the encounter. Three more ‘rebels’ managed to escape, an Indian police superintendent claimed. Two of the four youngsters who were branded as rebels by Indian officials were identified as Zubair Ahmad Butt and Ashfaq Ahmad of Shopian.
Following the incident, senior All Parties Hurriyat Conference leader Yousuf Naqash strongly condemned the killings, calling it ‘terrorism by men in uniform’. “These martyrs leave a huge responsibility on our shoulders to carry forward their mission,” he said.
Violence in Indian Occupied Kashmir peaked last year after Burhan Wani, a 22-year-old separatist leader who enjoyed widespread support in the Muslim-majority region, was shot dead by Indian security forces in July.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 13th, 2017.