19 May 2024, 16:07

Suspected rebels kill political activist in Indian Kashmir

NEW DELHI, May 19, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Suspected rebels shot dead an activist from Indian 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party in Kashmir, local authorities said Sunday after the latest 
violent attack in the disputed region. 

Police named the victim as Aijaz Ahmad, a local leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party 
(BJP) who was fired upon in Shopian district on Saturday evening, days after the region began 
voting in India's six-week national elections.
The BJP's local office in Kashmir confirmed Sunday that Ahmad had died and announced 
plans to stage a protest against the attack. 

Two Indian tourists visiting the Himalayan territory were also wounded in a separate attack by 
suspected rebels in nearby Anantnag on the same day, police said, adding that both had been 

Security forces had cordoned off the surrounding area to find those responsible for separate 
incidents, police said. 

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since their independence in 1947, with 
both claiming the Himalayan territory in full.

Rebel groups opposed to Indian rule have for decades waged an insurgency in Indian-
controlled Kashmir, demanding either independence or a merger with Pakistan.

India accuses Pakistan of backing the militants -- charges Islamabad denies.

The conflict has left tens of thousands of civilians, soldiers and militants dead.

Violence has drastically reduced since 2019, when Modi's government cancelled the Muslim-
majority region's limited autonomy and brought it under direct rule from New Delhi.
Security forces have reported a spate of clashes in Kashmir since voting began last month in 
ongoing general election.

Earlier this month suspected rebels killed an Indian air force member and injured four others in 
an ambush on a military convoy.

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