22 October 2018

A shell blast in Kashmir killed six civilians following a clash between suspected rebels and Indian military forces.


On 21 October 2018, an explosion went off in an Indian controlled region of Kashmir, killing six civilians and critically wounding 10 others. The blast occurred at the site of an earlier clash between Indian government forces and a suspected group of rebels.

The incident occurred in a village located in southern Kulgam. The Indian military said that troops entered the village after receiving a tip about a group of rebels in the area. Harmeet Singh, the Senior superintendent of police, reported that the suspected rebels were from Shopian, Kulgam, and Anantnag, villages located in southern Kashmir. Fighting ensued which lasted for several hours and resulted in the death of three suspected rebels. During the gunfight, civilians gathered near the site to protest the Indian presence in Kashmir. Protestors threw stones at Indian government forces, and the forces retaliated by firing shotgun pellets and tear gas at the group, injuring at least 35.

Following the fight, civilians remained in the immediate area and attempted to extinguish a fire that had broken out in the house where the rebels were hiding. During this time, a shell exploded in the house. S.P. Pani, an Indian officer, reported that civilians ignored the requests of soldiers to clear the area. However, some Kashmir residents, including Muhammad Shaban, alleged that the Indian army never made any attempts to clear out the crowd.

Clashes between Indian government forces and rebels have been ongoing since 1989 and have resulted in the death of almost 70,000 according to the Washington Post. One resident said that explosions of shells left by the Indian army have “happened in the past, too, and has even killed children who fiddle with the shells.” Human rights activists based in Kashmir are calling for the UN to investigate the army’s use of excessive grenades.

 

 

To know more, please read:

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/civilians-killed-kashmir-blast-181021121008423.html

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/seven-civilians-four-jawans-die-in-kashmir-in-single-day/articleshow/66309203.cms

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/3-rebels-killed-in-kashmir-35-hurt-amid-anti-india-clashes/2018/10/21/4d2d0032-d502-11e8-a4db-184311d27129_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ad720175dd39