Jul 02, 2020 13:51 UTC
  • Indian military killed 229 in Kashmir in first half of 2020: Group

A rights group says 229 people have been killed during military operations in the Indian-administered Kashmir so far this year.

The Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) said in its biannual report published on Wednesday that the region witnessed “the extrajudicial executions of at least 32 civilians, besides killings of 143 militants and 54 armed forces personnel” from January 1 to June 30, 2020.

“At least 57 gunfights took place between government forces and the militants following… search operations,” the report added.

The JKCCS said that during search operations and encounters, “vandalism and destruction of civilian properties were reported.” It said 55 instances of internet blockades and at least 48 cases of destruction of civilian properties had been reported in Jammu and Kashmir in the first half of the year.

Kashmir is disputed territory. It has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition in 1947. The countries have fought three wars over the region.

The New Delhi government has deployed large contingents of police and paramilitary troops in the troubled region to prevent street demonstrations. Indian troops are in constant clashes with the armed groups seeking independence across the Muslim-majority valley of Kashmir.

Media gagged in Kashmir

The JKCCS report said the media in Kashmir continued to be subjected to pressure, intimidation, and harassment by the authorities in the first six months of 2020, with several incidents involving the beating of journalists.

“Besides physical assaults, a few Kashmir-based journalists were also booked under stringent charges and cases were filed against them,” it added.

Domicile law and demographic change

Elsewhere in the report, the rights group said New Delhi was paving the way for demographic change in the Indian-administered Kashmir on a large scale and institutionalizing a system of domination over the native population.

Calling the plan a “clear violation of the 4th Geneva Convention,” the report cited observers as warning that the new domicile law imposed by India could permanently alter the demography of the disputed region.