Conflicts & War

4 insurgents killed in India-administered Kashmir ahead of home minister’s visit

Srinagar, India, Jun 23 (EFE).- At least four alleged insurgents were on Friday killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in the northern part of India-administered Kashmir in a clash that took place hours before the visit of Indian home minister Amit Shah.

“In a joint operation, army and police have killed four terrorists in Kala Jungle of Machhal in Kupwara,” a police statement said adding that “the slain militants were trying to infiltrate to our side from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK)”.

Kupwara is situated close to the Line of Control, the highly militarized de-facto border that divides the disputed Kashmir region between India and Pakistan.

The operation took place hours before Shah’s arrival in Kashmir for a two-day visit.

One of the objectives of the visit is to discuss the security plan for the region ahead of the Amarnath Yatra, an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a cave situated at a height of 3,888 meters, which has been targeted by militants in the past.

After arriving in Kashmir, the minister in a public event defended the government’s decision to revoke the semi-autonomous status of the region in August 2019, claiming it had helped bring peace and development to Kashmir.

“The foreign dignitaries who visited Kashmir recently on the eve of the G20 meeting have gone back with the message of peace and changing Kashmir post the abrogation of Article 370,” Shah claimed, referring to the article of the Indian constitution that granted partial autonomy to the Muslim-majority region.

He also insisted that violence and killings had reduced in Kashmir since Prime Minister Narendra Modi – a Hindu nationalist – assumed office in 2014.

Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over the region since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 along with independence from the British, and the two have fought three wars and several minor conflicts over the issue. EFE


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