Attackers kill a Hindu in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India — On Saturday, assailants shot and killed a Kashmiri Hindu in violence that police have blamed on militants fighting against the Indian regime in the disputed region.

Police said militants shot Puran Krishan Bhat, who belongs to the minority community of Kashmir Hindus, at his home in the southern district of Shopian. He was taken to hospital where he died, police said in a statement.

Police and soldiers cordoned off the area and launched a search for the attackers.

In August, a local Hindu was killed and his brother injured in Shopian in a shootout that police also blamed on insurgents.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed by both in its entirety.

Rebels in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir have been fighting the New Delhi regime since 1989. Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebels’ goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

India insists that Kashmir militancy is Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the accusation and most Kashmiris view it as a legitimate struggle for freedom. Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and government forces have been killed in the conflict.

Kashmir has seen a series of targeted killings since October last year. Several Hindus, including migrant workers from Indian states, were killed. Police say the killings – including those of Muslim village councillors, policemen and civilians – were carried out by anti-Indian rebels.

The spate of killings comes as Indian troops have continued counterinsurgency operations in the region amid a crackdown on dissent and press freedom, which critics have likened to a militaristic policy.

Kashmir’s Hindu minority, known locally as Pandits, have long worried about their place in the region. Most of around 200,000 of them fled Kashmir in the 1990s when an armed rebellion against Indian rule began. Some 4,000 returned after 2010 under a government resettlement plan that provided them with jobs and housing.

ABC News

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