Srinagar: The Indian government’s response towards people’s protest in disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir has only become more violent during the past year. In the first three months of this year, at least 14 civilians have been shot dead in firing by government forces and 2 civilians were killed by suspected militants. Statement issued here by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society says “Comparing it with 2016, only 7 civilians were killed in government forces action during the months between January to March. Out of the 14 civilians killed in first three months of this year, 8 have died due to firing by government forces near the encounter sites – which is slowly becoming a new norm of state violence in Jammu and Kashmir, where government forces fire upon civilian protestors near encounter sites.
The government’s claim that militancy is on the rise in the state of Jammu and Kashmir doesn’t hold truth as comparing to the previous year’s death toll of militants in the first three months of the year was 28 and this year there has only been a slight increase as the number of militants killed from January to March 2017 is 33. What has changed however is the number of local militants killed in government forces action in Jammu and Kashmir: in the first three months of 2016 nine local militants were killed in government and Indian armed forces action while in this year a total of 18 local militants have been killed in action by government and Indian armed forces action. The trend points to the increasing inclusion of local boys into the armed insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir.
In the first three months of 2017, a total of 33 militants have been killed in government forces action which include 18 locals, 7 non-locals, and 8 unknown militants. However in the first three months of 2016, a total of 28 militants have been killed in government forces action which include 9 locals, 16 non-locals and 3 unknown militants.
Thirteen armed forces have also been killed in the first three months of the year 2017 compared to last year’s toll of 10 armed forces killed in the first three months of the year 2016.
The data points to the growing rise of state violence on civilian population in Kashmir, most worryingly of shooting protestors at encounter sites in which 8 civilians have lost their lives in the first three months of this year alone.”