Three members of India’s governing Hindu nationalist party were shot dead by suspected separatist rebels in Indian-administered Kashmir. This attack is coming just two days after New Delhi’s introduction of new land laws which the residents describe as “land grab”.
The attackers on Thursday, 29th October 2020 open fire at a car the three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members were traveling in the southern Kashmir Valley’s Kulgam district. The three members were immediately rushed to the hospital but could not be saved. Polic is calling it a terror attack. The three dead were the members of the BJP party’s youth wing. One of them was the general secretary of the youth wing’s Kulgam unit.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the killing of his party members in a tweet late Thursday. He tweeted that the trio were bright youngsters who were doing excellent work in Kashmir.
BJP is calling the killings a barbaric terror attack. The party posted on Twitter that those who are responsible for this attack will not be spared.
According to the police, the government has launched a search for the gunmen. No rebel group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet.
Unrest In Kashmir After Centre Scrapped The Region’s Special Status
Kashmir is currently divided between India and Pakistan. Both the countries are claiming the region in its entirety. Rebels have been fighting against Indian rule since the year 1989. Most Kashmiri Muslims want the territory to become either an independent country or united either under Pakistani rule.
Thursday’s attack on the three BJP party members came two days after the country’s capital enacted laws allowing any of its citizens to buy land in Indian-administered Kashmir.
The residents are concerned about these laws. According to the right groups, the introduction of these measures is to change the demographics of the Muslim-majority region.
Until last year, the center did not allow non-residents of the state to buy property in the Indian-administered Kashmir region.
But in August 2019, the central government scrapped the region’s special status. It also annulled its separate constitution. The state was then divided into two federal territories that are Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh. The government also removed inherited protections on land and jobs.
This move by the government triggered widespread anger and economic ruin amid an unprecedented security clampdown, communications blackout, and arrest of hundreds of leaders and activists in the region. Kashmiri rebel groups have also intensified their attacks since the revoke of the region’s semi-autonomy.
India is describing the Kashmiri rebellion as Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. However, Pakistan is denying the charge. Most Kashmiris are calling it a legitimate freedom struggle. Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels, and government forces and officials have been killed in this conflict.