In first six months, “48 civilian properties destroy”; 229 killings in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir has seen at least 229 killings during more than 100 military operations since January this year, a rights group said Wednesday. The Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), which operates in the Jammu and Kashmir, said in its bi-annual report that from January 01 to June 30, Kashmir valley witnessed the extrajudicial executions of at least 32 civilians and the killing of 54 armed forces personnel. It also saw 55 internet shutdowns and the destruction of 48 structures, it said.

The first six months of 2020 witnessed at least 229 killings in different incidents of violence, JKCCS-APDP said in its Bi annual HR report.

The first six months of 2020 witnessed the extrajudicial executions of at least 32 civilians in J&K, besides killings of 143 militants and 54 security forces.

Children and women continued to be victims of violence in J&K as 3 children and 2 women were killed in the first half of 2020, it said.

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From January 1 to June 30, at least 107 Cordon and Search Operations (CASOs) and Cordon and Destroy Operations (CADO’s) were conducted in J&K which resulted in the killing of 143 militants. At least 57 encounters took place between Indian armed forces and the militants following CASOs in the first six months of 2020. During CASOs and encounters, vandalism and destruction of civilian properties was reported, according to JKCCS BI annual report.

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It further said “In the first six months of 2020, the media continued to be at the receiving end of the pressure, intimidation and harassment by the authorities, with several incidents of beating and thrashing of journalists. Besides physical assaults, few Kashmir based journalists were also booked under stringent charges and cases were filed against them”.

The JKCCS’s report said that after the first case of the novel coronavirus was declared in the region in March, the local government clamped down with restrictions and curfews when people in the region had already been locked up since August last year.

It said roads were barricaded while surveillance tools were used to track down people.

“Until April 16, around 2,303 people were also arrested in the region for defying lockdown orders while many shops were sealed and vehicles seized in the region,” it said.

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The report also said that 345 prisoners were released amid the pandemic, but many prisoners are still being held in Indian jails while giving reference to J&K High Court Bar Association President Mian Abdul Qayoom, who has been detained since Aug. 5 last year.

In J&K, the destruction of civilian properties by security forces during encounters or while dealing with the protestors saw an uptick in the first six months of 2020. From January 1 to June 30, at least 48 cases of destruction of civilian properties were reported in Jammu and Kashmir. The destruction of civilian properties during encounters saw an increase during the COVID-19 lockdown enforced by the government, rendering many families homeless and without shelter, JKCCS report said. attempted to contact government advisor Farooq Khan on the issues covered in the report but received no response despite repeated calls. It also contacted government spokesman Rohit Kansal, who is yet to respond to a texted query.

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