Restive valley: Col among four killed in Kashmir gun battle

Ten Kashmiris have been killed in different encounters this month


Agencies January 28, 2015
An Indian soldier keeps watch from his position overlooking army barracks following an attack by militants on the camp in Gingal Uri, some 90 kms north of Srinagar near the Line of Control (LoC), on December 5, 2014. PHOTO: AFP

SRINAGAR: An Indian army colonel was among four people killed during a gun battle outside the restive region’s main city of Srinagar, police said, the highest ranking military officer to die in fighting in the disputed Himalayan region in more than a year.

The colonel was leading an operation against suspected rebels in the Hundoora village, 50 kilometres south of Srinagar, when he came under fire. A policemen and two militants were also killed in the encounter, police superintendent Tahir Saleem said.

Tens of thousands of troops are deployed in the Indian side of Kashmir to put down the separation movement which began in 1989 and has weakened over the past several years. Different groups have been fighting Indian forces since 1989 for independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan. The fighting has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.

This month alone, 10 Kashmiris have been killed in violence. Violence has abated during the last decade but armed encounters between rebels and government forces occur regularly and resentment among the people of Kashmir against Indian rule is deeply rooted.

On January 15, government forces killed five suspected rebels during a gun battle in a forested area a few kilometres from the site of Tuesday’s encounter. The officer killed on Tuesday was the previous day awarded a gallantry medal for his service in Kashmir.

Security had been high in Kashmir and India’s other restive areas during the Obama visitand for Republic Day on Monday which marks the birth of modern India.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2015.

COMMENTS (1)

Kali Mirch | 6 years ago | Reply

How many gallantry awards will be given to Indian martyrs? How many more Indian martyrs will there be? Government of India has to be told this can't go on forever. Multiculturalism is failing in the Europe and it has failed in USA. Look what happened to France. Look what is happening in other European countries. Why can't we stop deaths of Indian lives just as USA has done. Multiculturalism in India is failing and we need to ensure that there are no more Indian casualties.

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