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India sends thousands more troops to restive Kashmir

i24NEWS - AFP

clock 2 min read

An Indian paramilitary trooper searches the bag of a man during a random inspection along a street in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, on November 9, 2021.
TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFPAn Indian paramilitary trooper searches the bag of a man during a random inspection along a street in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, on November 9, 2021.

Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since its independence from British rule in 1947

India sent thousands more paramilitary troops into its section of Kashmir, one of the world's most militarized zones, after a string of targeted killing by suspected rebels in recent weeks. 

New Delhi has stationed at least 500,000 soldiers in the divided Himalayan territory for years, an area which is also claimed and partially controlled by rival Pakistan.

"Around 2,500 troops have arrived and they were deployed all over Kashmir valley," Abhiram Pankaj, a spokesman for the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), told AFP.

More were on their way to the restive territory, he added.

Around 5,000 extra paramilitaries in all were being deployed from this week, including from India's Border Security Force (BSF), according to a police officer speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity.

A dozen people have been gunned down since last month in what appeared to be targeted assassinations, including police, migrant workers from northern Indian states and local members of the Sikh and Hindu communities.

Rebel groups, who have since 1989 fought for Kashmir's independence or merger with Pakistan, are believed to be responsible for the attacks.

Some of those killed were accused by the Resistance Front, a local rebel group, of being in the employ of security forces.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since its independence from British rule in 1947. 

Anger has simmered in the region since August 2019 when New Delhi revoked its partial autonomy and brought its section of Kashmir under direct rule. 

Both countries agreed to a ceasefire in February, following months of conflict. 

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