Massive crackdown in Jammu and Kashmir; over 700 "terrorist sympathisers" detained civilian killings

In a crackdown post the killing of seven civilians,  including those from the Kashmiri Pandit, Sikh and Muslim communities, in six days, Indian security forces have detained over 700 people in Jammu and Kashmir. Several of those detained are believed to have links to the banned Jamaat-e-Islami, police said

Oct 11, 2021
Image
Massive crackdown in Jammu and Kashmir

In a crackdown post the killing of seven civilians,  including those from the Kashmiri Pandit, Sikh and Muslim communities, in six days, Indian security forces have detained over 700 people in Jammu and Kashmir. Several of those detained are believed to have links to the banned Jamaat-e-Islami, police said.

A senior police officer told NDTV they had been detained to "break the chain of attacks in the (Kashmir) Valley". The officer also said the attacks may have been fuelled by an increase in radicalism following the Taliban's rise to power, and that the killers were going after "easy" targets.

The murders have sparked outrage in the already tense Kashmir Valley, with opposition leaders fiercely critical of the administration's apparent inability to stop the attacks and locals living in fear.

On Thursday, National Conference leader and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah told NDTV that innocent people are dying and demanded the government re-assess its policies. Abdullah also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit the Valley and offer reassurances to those living there.

Dozens of scared Kashmiri Pandit families living in transit camps have already fled the Valley.

The most recent deaths were of two government schoolteachers - Supunder Kour (a Sikh) and Deepak Chand (a Hindu) - who were shot dead by gunmen in Srinagar on Thursday.

"The pistol-wielding men came... asked for ID cards of teachers and fired at two... one each from the minority Sikh and Hindu community," news agency Reuters quoted a schoolteacher as saying.

On Tuesday, Makhan Lal Bindroo, 70, the owner of a pharmacy in Srinagar's Iqbal Park, was shot inside his store. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.  A Kashmiri Pandit,  Bindroo stayed in Kashmir even during the 1990s - the peak of terrorism. Two others killed on Tuesday were Mohammad Shafi, a taxi driver in Bandipora, and Virender Paswan from Bihar, a street food vendor in Srinagar.

Police have attributed most attacks to The Resistance Front, reportedly an offshoot of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba. They have also said seven of the 28 civilians killed since January are non-Muslims.

Indian Army General Officer Commanding of Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General DP Pandey, said that "some elements" were trying to divide the society on communal lines and the people will expose those elements.