A junior commissioned officer (JCO), and four Indian Army personnel were killed on October 11 in the Poonch sector of disputed Jammu and Kashmir during a gun battle between rebels and Indian forces. Following which cordon and search operations were launched in the dense forest area of the region.
On Thursday, 14 October, in a fresh spate of firing between the Indian army and rebels, four more army personnel, including another JCO, died in a gun battle in the Poonch-Rajouri forest belt, making it one of the deadliest weeks for the Indian army.
Meanwhile, civilians in the Poonch area have been asked to stay indoors. Local administration urged residents to return immediately to their homes through loudspeakers in the area, the Indian Express reported, citing sources.
Two days later, on October 19, General MM Naravane Chief of Army Staff (COAS) visited the region to review the security situation and interacted with the army personnel on the ground.
Meanwhile, a newly emerged rebel outfit People’s Anti-fascist Front (PAFF) released an eight-minute video on multiple Telegram App channels about the ongoing gunbattle in Jammu Kashmir’s Poonch region. The rebel group in a Kashmiri language calling itself the associates of PAFF claimed the responsibility for the ongoing attack.
However, the Indian army officer in a tweet disputed the veracity of the released video.
The disputed region between India and Pakistan has witnessed an increased intensity of Armed conflict from the past month due to the killings of Non-local whom Rebel’s claimed to be settlers in the region after India unilaterally abrogated the semi-autonomous status of Jammu Kashmir.
In the last twenty days, 11 people and nearly two dozen armed rebels were Killed. The Indian establishment launched a massive crackdown in Kashmir, arresting around 1500 civilians.
Amid growing escalation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced his three days visit to the disputed region. It was his first visit to Kashmir Valley since the abrogation of Article 370.
In his first day visit day, HM in a public speech while addressing young people said “Till now more than 40,000 people including security forces, terrorists and civilians have lost their lives here … Terrorism and progress cannot go together. The first requirement for development is that there has to be peace. And who can do it? … It is the youth who have to work in eliminating terrorism,” PTI said in a report.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, 14th day of the ‘Poonch encounter’ a heavy exchange of firing was reported. Jammu and Kashmir police officials say “During the search operation two of its men have also been injured during the operations. On Sunday morning, the encounter resumed and a heavy exchange of fire is being reported from the spot.
Zia Mustafa from Rawlakot Pakistan Administered Kashmir an undertrial for 18 years lodged in Kotebalwal jail Jammu was taken to Bhata Durian for identification of a hideout during the ongoing operation. The subsequent police statement “Zia Mustafa was killed in the crossfire.” Police statement added
A local lawyer from the neighbouring district Shopian says “Zia an undertrial for 17 years was facing a case before Session court Shopian, has been Killed. There was no evidence for a conviction, the lawyer added.
Who was Zia Mustafa
Zia Mustafa Son of Abdul Kareem resident of Burmag Kalan Tehsil Rawalakot District Poonch Pakistan Administered Kashmir was arrested on January 13, 2003, when he unknowingly crossed to another side of Line of Control (LOC).
Amir Hamid Zia brother of Zai Mustafa while taking to Asia Free press said he was 15 years old when he unknowingly crossed the fence.
However, Zia’s formal arrest was shown in March 2013 from South Kashmir’s Anantnag District in a Nadimarg incident, where 24 Kashmiri Pandits allegedly were shot dead by the unidentified gunmen.
Zia was facing trial before district court Shopian where the state failed to produce any single evidence against him. The trial court closed the prosecution evidence and accordingly State of Jammu Kashmir filed the criminal appeal before Jammu Kashmir High court, Srinagar Wing which was also dismissed.
The state of Jammu Kashmir filed Criminal Appeal 39899/2018 with condonation of delay application In Zia Mustafa’s Case before Supreme Court India (SC) and in its order SC “condoned the delay in filing the writ petition”.
The Government of Pakistan also admitted Zia as the state subject of Azad Jammu Kashmir in the prisoners’ list on January 23 2006 and registered under number SS382577. Zia’s brother to AFP.
A day after Pulwama Attack took place where 40 Indian Armed forces were killed by a Local Rebel Adil Dar, J&K Government moved a petition to the Supreme court to Shift seven Pakistani prisoners including Zia Mustafa outside of Jammu Jail. The state attorney Shoaib Alam said to SC that “intelligence input indicate that militant outfits are indoctrinating the minds of other inmates lodged in the prison”.
Zia’s family told “our son was killed in a fake encounter, how can they do it he was in prison for almost 17 years.
In one of the letters, Zia has been sent mentioned to his family members that the court has almost found him innocent there is no evidence against me. I will be back with you soon. Maternal relative Showed to AFP.
Fake Encounters in Jammu & Kashmir
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Pakistan in a recent dossier titled ‘Indian Human Rights Violation in IIOJK 2021’ said the Indian Army is coming war crime, crime against humanity in the disputed region.
The dossier mentions that since 2000, over 80 major fake encounters have been reported in IOK in which more than 160 innocent Kashmiris have been killed.
The latest on 30 Dec 2020, when Indian Occupational Forces (IOF) and Police killed 3 innocent civilians in the Lawaypora area of Srinagar. General H Sahi (commander kilo force) and IGP Vijay Kumar false claimed and declared them terrorists
Similarly, on July 18 2020, 3 youth were killed in Shopian District in a fake encounter and declared foreigners. Later, IOF admitted that Captain Bhoopendra of 62 RR and 2 civilians deliberately killed 3 innocent civilians and planted weapons on them to secure the bounty worth 2 million Indian rupees. The dossier added.
Human Rights Watch Report, 2006, on Fake encounter enunciates that acts of suppression and violence have been deemed as “acts of service,” and compensations and promotions awarded to security forces personnel for killing presumed insurgents.
The obfuscation of such acts, and the failure to prosecute perpetrators, incentivizes state forces to act with impunity, attesting to the fluid boundaries between “legality” and “illegality.” The regularized state of exception/exemption that is accorded to, and expected by, security forces promotes violence.