Aug 11, 2020 16:46 UTC
  • Indian military killed three cousins in Kashmir, family says

A family in the Indian-administered Kashmir says three of their members were killed in a staged operation by Indian forces.

According to reports, the family of three missing Kashmiris said on Tuesday that the three cousins were killed by the Indian army in southern Shopian district last month.

“They did not have even a remote connection with militancy,” Mohammed Yousuf, the father of one of the men, said. He called for “a probe, verification of their call records, and background checks” to prove their innocence.

Naseeb Khatana said the three left their home in the southern district of Rajouri on July 16 to look for work in the Kashmir Valley.

“Today we identified their bodies from photographs that appeared on social media,” Khatana said. “We want justice and their bodies returned.”

The Indian army, which initially said the victims were “Pakistani terrorists,” said on Monday that it was investigating the deaths. The army said on July 18 that it had killed three suspected “Pakistani terrorists” during a counterinsurgency operation in the southern village of Amshipora. The bodies, it said, had been buried in a remote border area.

The latest killings have generated outrage on social media and brought the memories of extrajudicial killings locally known as fake encounters back in Kashmir.

The incident could also further ratchet up anti-India rage in the Muslim-majority region, where Indian forces have repeatedly been accused of targeting civilians.

In 2010, three army officers were found guilty of killing three laborers who had been branded as Pakistani infiltrators. The killings triggered months of protests that left more than 100 civilians dead.