Civilian killings

Published at May 08, 2018 03:58 AM 0Comment(s)1371views


Civilian killings

Civilian killings continue unabated in Kashmir. There is no let up in the violence. The trend of youth hitting the roads to disrupt the anti-militancy operations also has gained momentum. In the latest cycle of violence five militants and equal number of civilians were killed while more than 120 youth were injured in the gunfight and subsequent protests which were triggered on Sunday.  Those who were injured have complained that the forces resorted to the use of excessive force and were targeting with an aim to kill. Some have been tending at the fields when the forces fired on them, while many have received pellets and bullets above waist level. The situation in Kashmir has turned from bad to worse and the violence has only escalated this year. The number of youth who have joined militant ranks has also shown an increase.  As per police reports 126 youth joined militancy last year, while as the number  this year up to the end of April was nearly 50. In 2017, 213 militants including 127 foreigners and 86 local militants were killed while as in 2016 the number was 150 militants including 119 foreign militants and 31 local militants. This year till April end, while 19 civilians died 28 force personnel and 62 militants also lost their lives in separate incidents of violence across Kashmir. There is unanimity across the political spectrum that the bloodshed in Kashmir should stop.  From Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to NC working president and former CM, Omar Abdullah, everyone has expressed concern over the continuous civilian killings. The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) has described the killings as a bloodbath while strongly condemning the government’s decision of foiling the protest marches of lawyers, traders, and employees towards the civil secretariat.  It has said that the imposition of curfew in entire downtown and caging the entire resistance leadership reflects “frustration and acceptance of defeat by the government.”  There is a need for the government to review its policy of counter-insurgency, and the forces should be directed to observe restraint while dealing with the law and order situations. A consistent dialogue on Kashmir could help usher in peace and stability in Kashmir. The concerns of the political parties that the killings have increased after the forces launched operation “All Out ” and prepared a list of militants whom they were looking out for, need to be addressed. Civilian killings should stop and the restoration of peace should be the priority.

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