Six rebels, Indian soldier killed in Kashmir: Police

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Kashmiri insurgent teams have been combating Indian forces for greater than 30 years, demanding freedom or merger with neighbouring Pakistan.

Government forces in Indian-administered Kashmir have killed six suspected rebels in two incidents in a single day, police mentioned, rounding off one other bloody yr within the disputed territory.

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“Six militants, including two Pakistan nationals, have been killed in two separate encounters with the security forces in Anantnag and Kulgam districts of Kashmir,” the area’s police chief, Vijay Kumar, mentioned on Thursday.

An Indian military soldier was additionally killed within the back-to-back gun battles that passed off in southern Kashmir, Kumar mentioned.

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Rebel teams have been combating Indian forces for greater than 30 years, demanding freedom for the area or its merger with neighbouring Pakistan, which additionally controls part of the area.

Officials say at the least 380 rebels, nearly 100 civilians, and greater than 80 safety forces personnel have been killed within the area since August 2019.

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That was when New Delhi revoked the area’s restricted autonomy and introduced it beneath direct rule, including to anger amongst locals and galvanising help for self-determination.

This yr, the loss of life toll was 264, in contrast with 321 in 2020, based on the South Asia Terrorism Portal.

Police say with intensified navy operations in opposition to the rebels, the variety of native fighters has dropped to fewer than 100 for the primary time in a decade.

Kumar, the police chief, advised the Economic Times newspaper this week that some 70 % of the youth who joined insurgent ranks this yr “were either killed or arrested”.

Most of these arrested are being held beneath harsh anti-terror laws, referred to as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The legislation permits folks to be held for six months – typically rolled over – with out being charged and bail is nearly not possible.

One of these in custody since November is Khurram Parvez, programme coordinator for revered rights group, the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).

On December 1, the UN Human Rights Office criticised the arrest and mentioned that the UAPA “raises serious concerns relating to the right of presumption of innocence along with other due process and fair trial rights”.

The Indian authorities mentioned the assertion “betrays a complete lack of understanding on the part of the OHCHR of the security challenges faced by India from cross-border terrorism”.

Earlier this yr, the disputed area witnessed a wave of civilian killings, with rebels seemingly concentrating on non-Kashmiris, together with migrant staff, and members of the minority Hindu and Sikh communities within the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.

Indian forces within the closely militarised area – numbering an estimated 500,000 – responded with a widespread crackdown.

India has lengthy accused Pakistan of stoking the rebel in Indian-administered Kashmir. Islamabad denies the cost, saying it solely gives diplomatic and ethical backing for the self-determination of the Kashmiri folks.

The two nuclear powers have fought two of their three wars over the area and got here shut to a different in 2016.

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