’14 civilians shot dead by government forces in 2017′
Srinagar: The government’s response towards people’s protest in Jammu and Kashmir has become more violent during the past year, rights group, Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society said Saturday.
Comparing the date of civilians killed by government forces during the first three months of 2017 and 2016, a JKCCS statement said that 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.”
Giving details, the statement said that in the first three months of this year, at least 14 civilians have been shot dead in firing by government forces and two civilians were killed by suspected militants. 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, eight 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.”
Stating that government’s claim of militancy being on the rise “doesn’t hold truth” the statement said while 28 militants were killed in the first three months last year, 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, seven non-locals, and eight unknown militants. However in the first three months of 2016, a total of 28 militants have been killed in government forces action which include nine locals, 16 non-locals and three unknown militants, the statement said
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.