Tensions between India and Pakistan are growing as massive protests are continuing in the disputed Kashmir region. On May 5 and 6 there were clashes with fatal outcome.
On May 5, Indian troops killed three suspected rebels in Srinagar and one civilian was killed when a police armored vehicle ran over him during clashes. On May 6, Indian forces opened fire at a mass protest held in support of the rebels and calling for Kashmir’s independence from India. Five civilians and five alleged rebels were killed.
On May 7, the Jammu and Kashmir authorities imposed restrictions in parts of the Kashmir valley ahead of sit-in protests. The authorities closed down all educational institutes, banks and markets. High-speed mobile internet and phone service were also cut off.
Indian Member of Parliament Rajya Sabha Palaniappan Chidambaram asked Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti to quit the PDP-BJP coalition government. He stressed that the militaristic approach of the government had caused the critical situation in the Kashmir region.
The PDP-BJP coalition is the gravest provocation to the people of the Kashmir valley. Mehboobaji, quit the coalition immediately and go back to the people.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) May 8, 2018
Pakistani media criticized the Indian actions describing the military response to the protests as “an abject failure”.
“Instead of using more violence to quell protests and fueling a cycle of further bloodshed, both the administration in Srinagar and those who call the shots in Delhi need to revisit their approach,” Pakistani newspaper Dawn wrote.
India and Pakistan often accuse each other of ceasefire violations along the Line of Control (LoC), a former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. The standoff strained after attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016 and India’s surgical strikes inside disputed Kashmir. According to the annual report of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs for 2017-18 released in April, there were 342 violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 2017 in which 80 security personnel, 40 civilians and 213 terrorists were killed.