Babar Qadri, a prominent lawyer-activist in Indian-administered Kashmir, was shot and killed. Police and their relatives said on Friday (25 September) that they were shot at their house in Srinagar the previous evening. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. By joining the debate on various television channels, activists were staunch supporters of Kashmir’s autonomy. Qatar-based Al Jazeera reports.
Such targeted killings in Kashmir were not new since the beginning of the armed struggle against Indian rule in 1969. Hundreds of people have died in this type of killing. Human rights groups have blamed both the rebels and the Indian security forces for the killings.
Relatives of Babar Qadri said that two people came to his house on Thursday in the guise of customers. As soon as Qadri came out of the house, he shot at them and ran away. The Kashmir Police has started an investigation into the incident. It was not immediately clear why he was killed.
In the last few days, it has been reported that Babar Qadri had a dispute with some lawyers of the Bar Association. He recently got involved in a debate on a television news channel and chanted “Let India Fall”. In response, the channel’s presenter gave the slogan “Pakistan should fall”.
Since independence in 1947, India and Pakistan controlled separate parts of Kashmir, but claimed sovereignty over the entire region. Rebel groups are also divided in Kashmir who will rule the region. Some want to be part of Pakistan while others want independence for Kashmir. Delhi alleges that Islamabad is helping armed conflict in Kashmir. However, Pakistan continues to deny the allegations.
Anti-India sentiment prevails in Muslim-majority Kashmir with a population of around 12 million. Thousands of civilians, rebels and security personnel have been killed in the last few decades.