Conflicts & War

Migrant worker killed in Indian Kashmir in fresh attack on ‘outsiders’

Srinagar, India, Aug 12 (EFE).- A migrant workers was killed on Friday in another militant attack against non-locals in India-administered Kashmir, with separatist groups allegedly trying to expel all non Kashmiris and non Muslims from the region.

The attack took place in the early hours in Kashmir’s northern Bandipora district, when a young worker from the northern Indian state of Bihar was shot dead from point blank range, the police said in a statement.

“Mohammad Amrez, who was from Bihar’s Madhepura, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital after terrorists fired upon him,” it said.

This is the second attack of this kind this month and the third since June, with all the victims hailing from Bihar – one of India’s poorest states – which produces a large number of domestic migrants.

On Aug. 4 a Bihari worker was killed and two others were wounded in a grenade attack in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district, while on Jun. 2, another laborer from Bihar was assassinated in the central Budgam district.

The attacks have been accompanied by targeted killings of members of the minority Hindu community in India’s only Muslim majority region, which has triggered an exodus of the community.

Many fear that this could be a repeat of the massive exodus of local Hindus – known as Pandits – that began in 1989 in India-administered Kashmir after separatist violence and continued for years, with over 76,000 Pandit families the region.

The minority groups that have remained or returned to the region recently, have again begun to flee or demanded more security from the government.

Targeted killings of Hindu minority residents and migrants have risen sharply after the Indian government led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party revoked the semi-autonomous status of Kashmir in August 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi justified the measure as a way of boosting development, as now firms and individuals from outside the region were allowed to purchase property in Kashmir, something which had been blocked as part of the special status.

However, critics have called the decision a move to change the demography of Kashmir.

Friday’s attack came even as the region was put on high alert after a military camp in the region came under attack earlier this week, resulting in the death of four soldiers while two insurgents were also killed. India is also preparing to celebrate its 75th anniversary of independence from the British next week.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan along a de-facto border of the line of control since 1947, but is claimed in its entirety by both nations. EFE


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