Worrying pattern of govt forces using excessive force against civilians: Amnesty

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Debris of houses after a gunfight in Mujhgund area on the outskirts of Srinagar. Photograph by Saide Zahoor

Srinagar: Amnesty International India on Monday said that a worrying pattern is emerging in Kashmir, where government forces are increasingly using indiscriminate and excessive force against civilians.

Targeting the recent bloodshed in Pulwama, in a statement issued here, the Amnesty said, “Authorities must conduct a full and independent investigation into the incident, and those responsible must be prosecuted in a civilian court of law.”

They also mentioned that the killing of seven civilians on Saturday is an unfortunate addition to a series of alleged human rights violations by security forces in the state. Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty India said, “The intentional use of firearms should be done only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life and law enforcement.”

Also Read: Pulwama Bloodshed: ‘How long will you live in the grave?

The incident led to violent clashes across the valley, and the internet suspension in south Kashmir.

Seven civilians were killed and many more injured when the government forces opened fire on residents during a joint operation launched by the army and the police in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district in which three militants and a soldier died.

Amnesty also mentioned recent previous incidents, including five civilians killing in Shopian in May 2018, and the killing of seven civilians in Kulgam because of littered explosives near the encounter site in October.

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