An Indian police officer has been killed in a shootout with a “terrorist” in the disputed region of Kashmir in the first such incident since the area’s autonomy was revoked by New Delhi.
The shooting took place in the western Baramulla district of the Indian-administered Kashmir after law enforcement received a “credible lead,” local media reported.
The unit conducting the search came under fire from the militants. The ensuing gunfight continued into the night, eventually claiming the life of one officer and leaving another one injured. One assailant was killed in the encounter.
Baramulla update: Encounter is over. One terrorist killed. Identity being ascertained. Arms and ammunition recovered. Our colleague SPO Billal attained martyrdom. SI Amardeep Parihar injured in the incident is being treated at Army Hospital.@JmuKmrPolice
— Kashmir Zone Police (@KashmirPolice) August 21, 2019
Police also found arms and ammunition at the site. The militant was identified as a local resident who was previously known to authorities and was involved in “several terrorist crime cases,” according to a statement published on Twitter.
The shooting is believed to be the first serious incident in the disputed region after security was tightened by India in the wake of August decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir.
Anticipating potential riots, New Delhi deployed a total of 35,000 soldiers to the area over two weeks, in addition to the forces already stationed there. It also introduced some restrictions involving a ban on public gatherings in the main city of Srinagar. The situation has remained largely calm until now.
The Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, argued that the move to revoke autonomy would benefit the troubled region both in terms of the economy and security. In particular, authorities argued, this should help integrate it into the Indian state as well as contribute to tackling terrorism and corruption in the area.
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