Three from India ruling party killed in Kashmir attack
Suspected separatist rebels on Thursday shot dead three members of India’s ruling nationalist party which has lost nine officials in attacks in disputed Kashmir in recent months, police said.
The attackers fired at a car the three Bharatiya Janata Party politicians were using in the southern Kashmir Valley. No group immediately claimed responsibility but police described it as a “terror crime”.
Rebel groups have intensified attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s followers since the government revoked Kashmir’s semi-autonomy in August 2019 amid a stringent security clampdown in which internet was cut for several months.
Panic struck party ranks of the BJP afterwards and at least 16 BJP members publically gave up their party membership. Thursday’s attack came two days after New Delhi introduced a new law which for the first time means any Indian citizen can buy land in Indian-held Kashmir. This was prohibited before last year’s constitutional changes.
Even some pro-India groups protested against the law on Thursday describing it as an attack on the Muslim-majority identity of the territory.
An armed rebellion against Indian rule since 1989 and an Indian counterinsurgency campaign has left tens of thousands dead, mostly civilians.