Human Rights

Over 130 civilians killed in Kashmir in 2018 so far

Estimates of Human Rights organisation JKCCS are much higher

Srinagar: The civilian killings in Kashmir in the past four years has increased manifold. In contrast to 41 civilian killings in 2015, at least 130 civilians were killed till December 01 in current year-2018.

The list, however, does not include those killed during ceasefire violations along the Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan.

From 2015 to 2018, Kashmir has witnessed at least 383 civilian killings. Seven civilians have been killed in a single day, twice, this year. On December 15, Seven civilians were killed after armed forces opened fire on civilian protesters near the site of a gunfight in Kharpora Sarnoo village of Pulwama district last week. Three militants and an army man were killed in the gunfight.

On October 21, in a blast which went off at a gunfight site in Kulgam, seven civilians were killed.

At least 126 civilians were killed in 2016 and so far the number of civilian casualties is same in the first 11 months of the current year.

In 2017, at least 86 civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir.

As per figures available from media reports, compiled by Kashmir based news organisation The Kashmiriyat, 12 civilians were killed in January.

On 9 January, one civilian Khalid Ahmed Dar (22) who received a bullet injury at Khudwani died at DH of Islamabad (Anantnag). On January 24, one civilian identified as Shakir Ahmed Mir was killed when the Armed Forces opened fire on protesters at gunfight site in Chaigund area of South Kashmir’s Shopian District. Civilian Saima Jan succumbed to her injuries few days later after being hit by a bullet in Chaigund area. One civilian killed when he was “fiddling” with explosives at an Un-sanitized gunfight  site.

On January 27, three civilians named Javid Ahmed Bhat, Suhail Ahmad Lone and Rayees Ahmad Ganie were shot dead in Ganopora area of South Kashmir’s Shopian District.

One civilian was also killed by unidentified gunmen in Sopore.

ALSO READ: With 55 civilians and 211 militants killed, 2017 deadliest year since 2010

In the month of February, 6 civilians were killed.

In March, 12 civilians were killed as per reported figures. Four civilians were shot dead by Armed Forces in Pehnoo area of South Kashmir’s Shopian District on March 5. The civilians were identified as Gowhar Ahmad Lone, Suhail Khalil Wagay, Muhammad Shahid Khan and Shahnawaz Ahmad Wagay.

In April, 18 civilians were also killed. Four of them were shot dead by Armed Forces when fore was opened upon protesters in Kachdoora and Dragad areas of Shopian on April 1. These civilians included Mehraj u Din Mir of Wokay Kulgam, Muhammad Iqbal of Khasipora Shopian, Zubair Ahmed Bhat, Mushtaq Ahmed Thokar.

On April 11, four Civilians were shot dead at the hands of Armed Forces in Khudwani area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam District, they were identified as Sarjeel Sheikh, Bilal Ahmed Tantray, Faisal Ilahi and Aijaz Ahmed Pala.

Two civilians were killed in Drubgam area of Pulwama on April 30, They were identified as Shafaq Shabir of Hergam Shopian and Shahid Ahmed of Arihal Pulwama. Three residents of Jamia Mohalla Baramulla were also killed by unidentified gunmen on April 30. Unidentified gunmen also killed Gowhar Ahmed Rather and Aamir Ahmed Lone of Kangan, Muntazir Ahmed and Manzoor Ahmed of Hajin Bandipora, Kifayat Ahmed of Moolu Shopian, Ghulam Nabi Patel of Rajpora.

ALSO READ: List of people killed Kashmir in 2017: 384 casualties reported, 8 youths shot dead in a single day

In May, as per media reports, 14 civilians were killed, Out of them five were killed when Armed Forces opened fire on protesters in Badigam area of Shopian during a gunfight. They were identified as Asif Ahmad Mir, Zubair Ahmad Negroo, Yasir Ahmad, Adil Ahmad and Sajad Ahmad. In this gunfight, top Militant commander Saddam Padder was killed. One civilian was killed when militant’s attacked an Army camp in Kakpora area of Pulwama. On May 25, Muhammad Yaqoob Wagay in Hajin area was killed by unidentified gunmen.

In June, 11 civilians including Journalist, Shuja’at Bukhari were killed. Two civilians identified as Mohammed Yusuf Rather and Shahid Hajam were shot dead by Armed Forces in Sirigufwara area of South Kashmir’s Islamabad (Anantnag) District on June 22. Yawar Dar of Gassipora in Wanpoh was shot dead on June 24 in Quimoh area of Kulgam District in South Kashmir when top commander of Lashkar e Taiba, Shakoor Dar was killed in a gunfight. On 29 June, one civilian identified as Faizan Ahmad Khan was killed during an encounter in Chatpora area of Pulwama District.

ALSO READ: #JournalismIsNotACrime: List of Journalists killed and attacked in Kashmir proves otherwise

In the month of July, 10 Civilians were killed. On July 7, three civilians including a 13 year old girl were shot dead when the India Army opened fire on unarmed civilians in Hawoora area of Kulgam. They were identified as Shakir Ahmed 22, Irshad Majid 20 and aged Andleeba 13. On July 9, cousin of a killed Militant, Bilal Ahmed Mehand was killed by unidentified gunmen in South Kashmir.

In August, seven civilians were killed. On August 4 Bilal Ahmad Khan of Kral Chak was killed during a gunfight in Shopian. On August 5, one civilian was killed in Ramban district when Armed Forces opened fire after noticing ‘suspicious movement’. On September 8, unidentified gunmen fired at Ishfaq Ahmad, a student of Islamic University, in Hazratbal area of Srinagar. Earlier on the same day unidentified gunmen had shot Hakim-ul-Rehman Sultani, an activist of Hurriyat group led by Geelani in Bomai area of Sopore town. On September 11, Abdul Ahad Ganai, a PhD scholar from Aligarh Muslim University, was shot dead in his car in Srinagar’s Khanyar locality.

September also witnessed 7 reported civilian killings. On September 15, Rouf Ahmad, a resident of Chee in Islamabad (Anantnag), succumbed to injuries on way to the hospital after being injured in a gunfight near Czogam area in Kulgam.

13 Civilians were killed in October.

On October 5, unidentified gunmen shot dead two National Conference workers in Karfali Mohalla Srinagar. The killed political workers were identified as Nazir Ahmad Bhat and Mushtaq Ahmad Wani. Rayees Ahmed Sofi was killed on October 17 in a gunfight in Fateh Kadal area of Srinagar. October 21 proved to be a bloodiest day of the month that saw seven civilians killed in Laroo area of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district.

Eight civilians were shot dead in November.

On November 3, Armed Forces shot dead a mentally challenged man in South Kashmir. On November 4, a civilian was killed in Khudpora area of Shopian, he was identified Shahid Mir, a resident of Khudpora. On November 25, during a protest following the encounter in Kapran Shopian, Nouman Ashraf Bhat, a 16-year-old boy from Bolus Kulgam was shot dead, as per reported figures.

Civilian causalities have increased manifold near gunfight sites as more and more civilians continue to disrupt operations at the gunfight sites, in a bid to help militants to escape. These trends have alerted Indian agencies.

Despite constant warnings, the involvement of young boys and girls in massive protest demonstrations speaks volumes about the present scenario of the valley.

The youngsters are coming out defying cordon and search operations and anti militancy operations to give a chance to the militants to escape.

According to data shared by the Jammu and Kashmir Police, at least 106 civilians were killed in the firing of Armed Forces while trying to defend militants in a span of eighteen months starting from January 2017.

Estimates of Human Rights organisations are much higher. According to the break up provided by the JKCCS, from January 2018 to November 2018, 144 civilians, 234 militants and 142 Armed Forces were killed in the region.

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