Civilian shot lifeless in Kashmir as India’s home minister visits

Authorities stated {the teenager} was caught within the crossfire between rebels and safety forces, however his household referred to as it ‘cold-blooded murder’.

Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – A 19-year-old civilian has been shot lifeless in Indian-administered Kashmir in what his household referred to as “cold-blooded murder” by Indian forces.

It was the 12th civilian killing this month within the area both by insurgent fighters or safety forces.

Authorities stated {the teenager} was on Sunday caught up in “cross-firing”, a time period utilized by police to explain a gun battle between Indian forces and rebels, in Shopian in south Kashmir.

The younger man was recognized as Shahid Ahmad Rather, a university pupil, who additionally labored as an apple-picking labourer.

His brother Zubair Ahmad informed Al Jazeera that Shahid had not been home for the final 4 days because it was the harvest season in Shopian.

“I spoke to him last night and we decided that we will go home together today. I had informed my mother as well. But when I called him this morning no one responded. I got a call then that he was killed by the paramilitary forces near the camp for no reason when he was just walking,” Zubair stated.

The household has not been given the physique but for the final rites, he added.

“They might frame him in some militancy case now to justify not giving us the body,” Zubair stated, referring to a brand new rule by the federal government in Kashmir, which buries killed rebels in far-off graveyards and doesn’t enable their households to have a public funeral.

The police stated in an announcement “unidentified terrorists attacked” a safety element at Babapora village in Shopian. Paramilitary troops retaliated and throughout the “cross-firing one unidentified person got killed”.

Junaid Khan, a police spokesman, confirmed to Al Jazeera the paramilitary troops had been “fired upon by the militants” and one civilian was hit within the crossfire.

The household, nonetheless, rejected the official account. “Shahid was killed in a cold-blooded murder without any reason,” stated Zubair.

The police stated they’re investigating the incident additional.

‘Operate with impunity’

A photograph of the incident that surfaced on social media confirmed the younger man mendacity on the highway along with his arms inside his pheran, a protracted gown, with a white bag and apples scattered round him.

Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who shared the image in a tweet, stated, “It is sad that armed forces show little restraint and operate with such impunity.”

A 50-year-old girl from Kharpora village, who didn’t need to be named, stated the slain teenager, her neighbour, was working arduous to assist his poor household and ailing father.

“The forces justify these killings and associate our children with armed groups,” she stated, including “the boy had just gone to do his work”.

The newest incident has taken the entire variety of killings this month to 39, which incorporates 17 rebels, 12 civilians, and 10 Indian troopers. There has been a spike within the variety of assaults on non-locals and minority communities within the restive area.

To forestall assaults, safety deployments have been strengthened with the extra surveillance and troop deployments added to the streets.

More than 900 folks, most of them related to protests prior to now, have been detained within the newest crackdown following the spike in violence.

The killing of Rather coincides with the go to of India’s Home Minister Amit Shah, who’s on his first go to to Kashmir after the scrapping of the area’s particular standing two years in the past.

On Sunday, Shah addressed a rally of his supporters within the southern metropolis of Jammu, a Hindu majority area. His three-day go to concludes on Monday night.

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