India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

CrisisWatch India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

Deteriorated Situation

Militants launched first deadly attack on Hindus in years in Jammu region, while acrimony continued between India and Pakistan.

Militants targeted Hindus in brazen attack despite low ebb in violence across Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). In first attack on minority Hindu community members in Jammu region’s Rajouri district in over a decade, militants 1 Jan came down from forested higher reaches to village and fired indiscriminately on three houses, killing four people and injuring seven; explosive left behind by militants next day killed two children in same village. Security forces did not accuse any group of responsibility. Meanwhile, militant attacks across J&K remained at low ebb owing to harsh winter. Notably, militants 1 Jan lobbed grenade at security forces personnel in regional capital Srinagar, injuring one. Two alleged Lashkar-e-Tayyaba militants 15 Jan escaped during security operation in Budgam district but were killed two days later. Militants 22 Jan lobbed grenade in Srinagar, injuring one civilian. Home ministry declared The Resistance Front and People’s Anti-Fascist Front as “[militant] organisations” 5 and 7 Jan, respectively.

Locals protested against govt’s land laws in J&K. Hundreds of political activists 16 Jan protested in Jammu against J&K administration’s ongoing eviction of locals from what has been declared “state land”; protest leader same day said govt had “fiddled” with laws of “erstwhile State of [Jammu and Kashmir]” to “allow people from outside J&K and deprive the residents of their due right to use the land”.

India and Pakistan continued hostile rhetoric. Pakistan’s foreign ministry 4 Jan called on India to end “vile anti-Pakistan propaganda”, accusing Delhi of “brazen involvement in fomenting terrorism on Pakistan’s soil”. Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif 16 Jan called for talks “to resolve our burning points like Kashmir”. India 19 Jan said “we always desire normal neighbourly relations with Pakistan” but there should be no “terror, hostility or violence”. Indian Army Chief Manoj Pande 12 Jan said Feb 2021 ceasefire with Pakistan “is holding well but cross-border support to [militancy] and [militant] infrastructure however remains”; security forces 3 Jan claimed to have killed Pakistani trying to intrude in Punjab state’s Gurdaspur district.

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