NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Security forces in Kashmir shot dead on Wednesday (Sept. 11, 2019) a suspected member of a Pakistan-based militant group who was accused of attacking the family of a fruit trader, the state police chief said.
Tension is running high in Jammu and Kashmir since India withdrew the disputed Muslim-majority region’s special rights in order to integrate it into the country, prompting protests.
Last week, militants attacked the home of a fruit trader in Sopore, the region’s main fruit-growing area, for carrying on with his business despite widespread protest boycotts, wounding his son, granddaughter and another family member, Indian authorities said.
On Wednesday, police killed a militant identified as Asif, who police said was a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based group fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, in Sopore, state police chief Dilbagh Singh told Reuters from Srinagar, the state capital.
Hundreds of apple trucks have been moving out Sopore, 45 km from Srinagar, to deliver their produce to the rest of the country in what authorities hail as a sign of normalcy.
Singh said Asif was responsible for the assault on the fruit merchant’s home and an earlier attack on a labourer.
Pakistan, which also claims Kashmir, has vowed what it calls the fullest possible response to the Indian decision to revoke the region’s special status.