India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

CrisisWatch India-Pakistan (Kashmir)

Unchanged Situation

Poll results confirmed opposition candidates secured victory in Kashmir valley constituencies, authorities continued to misuse anti-terror laws, militant attacks and counterinsurgency operations persisted.

Muslim-majority Kashmir valley rejected ruling party’s proxy candidates. Official results shared 4 June indicated Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won two seats in Hindu-majority constituencies of Udhampur and Jammu. Meanwhile, in Muslim-majority Kashmir valley, opposition party National Conference (NC) secured two seats; all BJP-backed candidates lost, as did Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, two former chief ministers from People’s Democratic Party and NC, respectively; in Baramulla constituency, people elected jailed political leader Abdul Rashid Sheikh, previously arrested in 2019 on terror-funding charges; if Sheikh is convicted, he will lose parliamentary seat and new polls will be held.

Authorities used anti-terror laws to stifle dissent. J&K administration 8 June dismissed without formal investigation four govt employees “for their involvement in anti-national activities”. Authorities 14 June charged under anti-terror law novelist Arundhati Roy and former professor from Kashmir Sheikh Shaukat Hussain for public comments made at 2010 event, seen as promoting Kashmiri separatism. Kashmiri political parties 15 June condemned use of anti-terror laws to supress dissent and criminalise free speech; 200 Indian academics, activists and journalists on around 23 June published letter demanding govt to reverse decision.

Militants launched major attack as security operations continued. In Jammu’s Reasi district, suspected militants 9 June attacked bus carrying Hindu pilgrims, killing nine and injuring more than 30 people; police 19 June claimed to arrest man who provided logistical support to militants. In Jammu’s Doda district, militants 11 June attacked security check post, wounding six people, including five security forces personnel and special police officer; during operation, militants 12 June injured another security personnel. In South Kashmir’s Pulwama district, security forces 3 June killed two alleged militants of Pakistani jihadist Lashkar-e-Taiba organisation. In Kathua district, Jammu region, security forces 11-12 June killed two militants, soldier died during operation. In Baramulla district, security forces 19 June killed two militants during operation; 22-23 June shot down suspected militant near Line of Control. Security forces 26 June also killed three militants in Doda district, Jammu region, leaving one policeman injured. 

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