Muslim Separatists Clash With Indian Police In Kashmir

Protesters clash with security forces at the funeral of Kaiser Bhat - 2 June

BBC

“Anti-India protests have flared in Indian-administered Kashmir after one of two demonstrators run over by police on Friday died in hospital.

Police fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters as hundreds attended the funeral of Kaiser Bhat, crushed by a jeep, in the summer capital Srinagar.

The authorities have imposed a curfew in parts of the city and blocked internet services.

Kashmir is the subject of a bitter dispute between India and Pakistan.

Friday’s incident happened during protests against alleged police heavy-handedness in a raid during Ramadan on a city mosque they consider to be a hotbed of militants.

Security forces say the police were defending themselves from attack, but some local people say they deliberately drove into the crowd.

Graphic images have been circulating on social media of the young man’s face as the paramilitary jeep drives over him.

On Saturday, shops and businesses were largely closed and there was a heavy security presence on the streets.

Mourners carry the body of the dead youth - 2 June
Mourners chanted anti-India slogans at the funeral

The incident comes just days before Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh is expected to visit the state.

Muslim separatists have waged a violent campaign against Indian rule since the late 1980s, and many civilians support them.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict in Kashmir, which both India and Pakistan claim in full.”

Kashmir: Why India and Pakistan fight over it

Indian soldiers leave the site of a gun battle in Pampore, on the outskirts of Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, 12 October

BBC – 23 November 2016

“They waged two wars over it and are now nuclear armed. Why do India and Pakistan dispute Kashmir?

How old is this fight?

Even before India and Pakistan won their independence from Britain in August 1947, Kashmir was hotly contested.

Under the partition plan provided by the Indian Independence Act, Kashmir was free to accede to India or Pakistan.

The maharaja (local ruler), Hari Singh, chose India and a two-year war erupted in 1947.

A new war followed in 1965, while in 1999 India fought a brief but bitter conflict with Pakistani-backed forces.

By that time, India and Pakistan had both declared themselves to be nuclear powers.

Why so much unrest inside the Indian part?

Many people in the territory do not want it to be governed by India, preferring instead either independence or union with Pakistan.

The population of the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir is more than 60% Muslim, making it the only state within India where Muslims are in the majority.

High unemployment and complaints of heavy-handed tactics by security forces battling street protesters and fighting insurgents have aggravated the problem.

Weren’t there high hopes for peace in the new century?

India and Pakistan did indeed agree a ceasefire in 2003 after years of bloodshed along the de facto border (formally known as the Line of Control).

Pakistan later promised to stop funding insurgents in the territory while India offered them an amnesty if they renounced militancy.

Then, in 2014, a new Indian government came to power promising a tough line on Pakistan.

Are we back to square one?

A bloody summer of street protests in the Indian-administered part had already raised tension this year before a militant attack on Indian soldiers left 19 dead in September.

Blaming the attack on a Pakistan-based militant group, the Indian military responded with cross-border raids.”

kashmir map

A chronology of key events

Indian troops on Line of Control
Indian troops patrol the Line of Control separating Indian- and Pakistani-controlled Kashmir

1947 – End of British rule and partition of sub-continent into mainly Hindu India and Muslim-majority state of Pakistan.

1947 – The Maharaja of Kashmir signs a treaty of accession with India after a Pakistani tribal army attacks. War breaks out between India and Pakistan over the region.

1948 – India raises Kashmir in the UN Security Council, which in Resolution 47 calls for a referendum on the status of the territory. The resolution also calls on Pakistan to withdraw its troops and India to cut its military presence to a minimum. A ceasefire comes into force, but Pakistan refuses to evacuate its troops. Kashmir is for practical purposes partitioned.

1951 – Elections in the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir back accession to India. India says this makes a referendum unnecessary. The UN and Pakistan say a referendum needs to take into account the views of voters throughout the former princely state.

1953 – The pro-Indian authorities dismiss and arrest Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah, leader of the governing National Conference, after he takes a pro-referendum stance and delays formal accession to India. A new Jammu and Kashmir government ratifies accession to India.

1957 – The constitution of Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir defines it as part of India.

1950s – China gradually occupies eastern Kashmir (Aksai Chin).

Indian war with China

Indian officers during war with China
Indian army officers occupy a fort during the war with China

1962 – China defeats India in a short war for control of Aksai Chin.

1963 – Pakistan cedes the Trans-Karakoram Tract of Kashmir to China.

1965 – A brief war between Indian and Pakistan over Kashmir ends in a ceasefire and a return to the previous positions.

1971-72 – Another Indo-Pakistani war ends in defeat for Pakistan and leads to the 1972 Simla Agreement.This turns the Kashmir ceasefire line into the Line of Control, pledges both sides to settle their differences through negotiations, and calls for a final settlement of the Kashmir dispute. The Agreement forms the basis of Pakistani-Indian relations thereafter.

1974 – The Opposition Plebiscite Front in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir drops demand for a referendum in return for extensive autonomy in an agreement with the Indian government. Sheikh Abdullah becomes chief minister, and his political dynasty continues to dominate the National Conference and state after his death in 1982.

1984 – The Indian Army seizes control of the Siachen Glacier, an area not demarcated by the Line of Control. Pakistan makes frequent attempts to capture the area in the following decades.

Start of insurgency

1987 – Disputed state elections in Indian-administrated Jammu and Kashmir give impetus to a pro-independence insurgency centred around the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). India accuses Pakistan of fomenting the insurgency by despatching fighters across the Line of Control, which Pakistan denies.

1990 – The insurgency escalates after the Indian Army kills about 100 demonstrators at Gawakadal Bridge. Attacks and threats lead to the flight of almost all Hindus from the Kashmir Valley area of the state. India imposes Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in Jammu and Kashmir.

Stonethrower confronts Indian soldier
Indian forces have faced much resistance in Jammu and Kashmir

1990s – The insurgency continues, with Kashmiri militants training in Pakistan and India deploying hundreds of thousands of troops in Jammu and Kashmir. Violence against civilians by both sides is widespread.

1999 – India and Pakistan go to war again after militants cross from Pakistani-administered Kashmir into the Indian-administered Kargil district. India repulses the attack, accuses Pakistan of being behind it, and breaks off relations.

2001-2004 – Moves to boost relations between the two countries are punctuated by continuing violence, notably an attack on the parliament of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir in Srinagar in 2001.

2010 – Major protests erupt in the Kashmir Valley of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir over the summer after a demonstrator is killed by the Indian army. The protests abate in September after the government announce measures to ease tension.

2011 August – Chief Minister Omar Abdullah announces an amnesty for the 1,200 young men who threw stones at security forces during the anti-government protests in the Kashmir Valley the previous year.

Indian State Human Rights Commission confirms presence of more than 2,000 unidentified bodies in unmarked graves near the Line of Control. Activists say many may be people who disappeared after being arrested by security forces.

Sheep in Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir has stunning surroundings but has had a troubled past

2011 September – Indian forces kill three Pakistani soldiers in firing across the Line of Control. India accuses Pakistan of opening fire first.

2013 February – Kashmiri Jaish-e-Mohammed member Mohammad Afzal Guru hanged over role in 2001 Indian parliament terror attack, prompting protests in which two young men are killed.

2013 September – Prime ministers of India and Pakistan meet and agree to try reduce the number of violent incidents at their disputed border in Kashmir.

2014 August – India cancels talks with Pakistan after accusing it of interfering in India’s internal affairs. The decision comes after Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Delhi consulted Kashmiri separatist leaders in advance of the talks.

During a visit to the disputed border state of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi accuses Pakistan of waging a proxy war against India in Kashmir.

2014 October – Pakistan and India exchange strongly-worded warnings, after a flare-up of violence across their common border leaves at least 18 people dead.

BJP joins government

2015 March – India’s ruling BJP party is sworn into government in Indian-administered Kashmir for first time in coalition with local People’s Democratic Party, with the latter’s Mufti Mohammad Sayeed as chief minister.

2015 September – Muslim separatist leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir close shops, businesses and government departments in protest at the enforcement of a colonial-era ban on eating beef.

2015 November – One person dies in violent protests following a visit to Indian-administered Kashmir by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

2016 April – Mehbooba Mufti, the leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), becomes the first female chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir following the death of her father and party founder Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

Curfew

2016 July – Authorities impose an indefinite curfew in most parts of Indian-administered Kashmir after the killing of popular militant by security forces of Burhan Wani, a popular militant and top commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, sparks violent protests.

2016 August A curfew in most parts of Indian-administered Kashmir is lifted but schools, shops and most banks remain shut and mobile and internet services remain suspended. At least 68 civilians and two security officials have died and more than 9,000 people injured in over 50 days of violence according to official tallies.

2016 September – India and Pakistan exchange a war of words after 18 Indian soldiers are killed in a raid by gunmen on an army base in Indian-administered Kashmir.

2016 September – India says it has carried out “surgical strikes” against suspected militants along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir but Pakistan rejects the claims.

2016 October – The Indian army shoots dead three suspected militants as they try to enter an army camp in northern Kashmir.

2016 November – Human Rights Watch appeals for an end to the burning of schools in Indian-administered Kashmir after the total set alight since a wave of pro-separatist unrest began in July reaches 25.

2016 November – Thousands of villagers in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir are evacuated after violence escalates following the killing of seven Pakistani soldiers in an exchange of fire between India and Pakistan along the Line of Control.

2017 May – Thousands defy a curfew across Indian-administered Kashmir to attend the funeral of top rebel commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat.

2017 July – Violent clashes take place in Indian-administered Kashmir on the anniversary of the death of militant commander Burhan Wani.

2017 July – Militants attack Hindu pilgrims, killing at least seven and injuring 16, in the worst such attack since 2000.”

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