Indian police accuse Pakistan of instigating violence in IIOJK that killed 12

'Our hostile neighbour wants to damage our peaceful environment,' claims Jammu state police chief

Reuters June 12, 2024
Indian army personnel look on during a search operation, in Reasi on June 10, 2024. PHOTO: AFP


Pakistan was blamed by police in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) on Wednesday for a spurt in separatist attacks that killed 12 people and injured dozens over the last three days, just weeks after a large turnout for general elections.

"Our hostile neighbour wants to damage our peaceful environment," Anand Jain, police chief of Jammu, told reporters in a reference to Pakistan, which India has accused of stoking violence in the region for decades.

A spokesperson for the foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. Islamabad has denied such claims in the past, saying it has given only political and diplomatic support to the insurgency.

Gunbattles in the area on Tuesday killed two separatists and a paramilitary soldier while injuring a civilian and six security personnel, authorities said.

The incidents came two days after nine Hindu pilgrims were killed and 41 injured when a bus taking them to a Hindu shrine was attacked on Sunday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was sworn in for a third term.

The latest violence has prompted criticism of Modi by opposition parties demanding action against the perpetrators.

Read also: India to work on border solutions with Pakistan and China, says foreign minister

"Unless we talk to our neighbours we will not be able to solve the problem," Farooq Abdullah, a former chief minister of the region, told news agency ANI, in which Reuters has a minority stake.

The sudden rise in violence comes after the region's director general of police, R.R. Swain, said the number of local separatists was dropping, although 70 to 80 foreign separatists continue to be active.

"We are moving from resident terrorism to foreign terrorism," Swain said last week.

Ties between the neighbours have been frozen since India ended the special status of IIOJK in 2019, splitting it into two federally administered territories.

On Monday, the leaders of the nuclear-armed rivals engaged in diplomacy on X as Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and his elder brother and former three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif posted congratulations to Modi for his third term.

In response, Modi said, "The well-being and security of our people shall always remain our priority."


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