Indian army says 4 suspected rebels killed in Kashmir

Indian army says 4 suspected rebels killed in Kashmir

SRINAGAR, India — Four suspected rebels were killed in fighting with the Indian army in Kashmir, as businesses and schools shut in the disputed region on Monday in response to a separatists’ call to protest the killing of eight civilians by government forces during a weekend byelection, officials said.

Army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said a gunbattle erupted Sunday night after the four militants crossed from Pakistani side of the Himalayan territory into the Indian-held portion of Kashmir in Keran sector.

There was no independent confirmation of the incident.

Meanwhile, a strike called by separatists who challenge India’s sovereignty over Kashmir paralyzed life in the Kashmir Valley on Monday.

Widespread protests and clashes on Sunday marred a byelection for a vacant seat in India’s Parliament as thousands of people attacked polling stations.

Government forces fired on rock-throwing protesters, killing eight people and wounding at least 100. Officials said about 100 police and paramilitary soldiers were also injured in the clashes.

Only about 7 per cent of the area’s nearly 1.3 million voters cast ballots on Sunday, the lowest turnout in elections held by India in the region over the past five decades, said chief electoral officer Shantmanu, who uses only one name.

A second byelection is scheduled for Wednesday in Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Kulgam districts.

Anti-India separatists consider elections in Kashmir to be illegitimate, saying that India militarily occupies the region. India has long viewed polling as an endorsement of its control over a portion of Kashmir.

Rivals India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Since 1989, rebel groups have been fighting for independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. About 70,000 people have been killed in the rebel uprising and a subsequent Indian military crackdown.

Rebel groups have largely been suppressed by Indian forces in recent years. However, public opposition to Indian rule remains deep and is now principally expressed through street protests marked by youths hurling stones at government forces.

Aijaz Hussain, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Outbreak at Okanagan hospital

Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

The Okanagan may not get snow for Christmas

You may not want to bet on having a White Christmas

Secondary school ranks first in national competition

A local high school’s work in post-secondary preparedness has garnered national recognition

Hotel approved despite opposition

Council gives nod to rezoning and height variance for Fairfield Inn & Suites in Salmon Arm.

Dedicated volunteers look for clues

Police appreciate work of those who provide extra eyes for missing women investigations.

Christmas spirit rounded up at Ranch

O’Keefe Ranch celebrates the season with Victorian Christmas

Choir presents a cozy collection of Christmas tunes

Tapestry Women’s Choir and Fireflies Children’s Choir take the Armstrong Bible Chapel stage Dec. 16

Horgan says pot smokers may face same outdoor rules as cigarette smokers

B.C. is developing its rules on recreational marijuana

Truck driver volunteers to take dog lost in B.C. back home to Alberta

Frankie, a pit bull service dog, was found wandering in the Lower Mainland

Vernon Off Road Motorcycle Club looks back at 2017 season

Half Throttle, Great Trails, highlight 2017 season

B.C. teacher suspended after explicit images projected to class

Jeffrey Rohin Muthanna had been viewing porn on a school laptop for two years

Worship night celebrates with Christmas concert

Hear The Music is back with a Christmas concert Dec. 17 at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre

Armstrong purse project puts women first

When money is tight, even the essentials can become luxury items

Vernon Jazz Society swings into Christmas with holiday jams

Sandy Cameron’s Shujazz Sextet will be onstage at the Vernon Jazz Club Saturday, Dec. 16

Most Read