Archive for ‘killed’

20/05/2019

The Indian Dalit man killed for eating in front of upper-caste men

Jitendra
Image caption Jitendra was a carpenter and the only breadwinner in his family

A helpless anger pervades the Dalit community in the remote Indian village of Kot.

Last month, a group of upper-caste men allegedly beat up a 21-year-old Dalit resident, named Jitendra, so badly that he died nine days later.

His alleged crime: he sat on a chair and ate in their presence at a wedding.

Not even one of the hundreds of guests who attended the wedding celebration – also of a young Dalit man – will go on record to describe what happened to Jitendra on 26 April.

Afraid of a backlash, they will only admit to being at a large ground where the wedding feast was being held.

Only the police have publicly said what happened.

The wedding food had been cooked by upper-caste residents because many people in remote regions don’t touch any food prepared by Dalits, who are the bottom of the rigid Hindu caste hierarchy.

“The scuffle happened when food was being served. The controversy erupted over who was sitting on the chair,” police officer Ashok Kumar said.

The incident has been registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities Act) – a law meant to protect historically oppressed communities.

Dalits, formerly known as untouchables, have suffered public shaming for generations at the hands of upper-caste Hindus.

Geeta Devi
Image caption Geeta Devi says she found her son dead outside their home

Dalits continue to face widespread atrocities across the country and any attempts at upward social mobility are violently put down.

For example, four wedding processions of Dalits were attacked in the western state of Gujarat within a week in May.

It is still common to see reports of Dalits being threatened, beaten and killed for seemingly mundane reasons.

The culture that pervades their community is visible everywhere – including in Kot, which is in the hilly northern state of Uttarakhand.

Local residents from the Dalit community allege that Jitendra was beaten and humiliated at the wedding.

They say he left the event in tears, but was ambushed again a short distance away and attacked again – this time more brutally.

Jitendra’s mother, Geeta Devi, found him injured outside their dilapidated house early the next morning.

“He had been perhaps lying there the entire night,” she said, pointing to where she found him. “He had bruises and injury marks all over his body. He tried to speak but couldn’t.”

Kot village in Uttarakhand state
Image caption Dalits are outnumbered by upper-caste families in the village

She does not know who left her son outside their home. He died nine days later in hospital.

Jitendra’s death is a double tragedy for his mother – nearly five years ago her husband also died.

This meant that Jitendra, who was a carpenter, became the family’s only breadwinner and had to drop out of school to start working.

Family and friends describe him as a private man who spoke very little.

Loved ones have been demanding justice for his death, but have found little support among the community.

“There is fear. The family lives in a remote area. They have no land and are financially fragile,” Dalit activist Jabar Singh Verma said. “In surrounding villages too, the Dalits are outnumbered by families from higher castes.”

Of the 50 families in Jitendra’s village, only some 12 or 13 are Dalits.

Dalits comprise almost 19% of Uttarakhand’s population and the state has a history of atrocities committed against them.

Police have arrested seven men in connection with Jitendra’s death, but all of them deny any involvement.

Group of upper-caste residents in the village
Image caption Upper-caste villagers deny discriminating against the Dalit community

“It’s a conspiracy against our family,” said a woman whose father, uncles and brothers are among the accused. “Why would my father use caste slurs at a Dalit’s marriage?”

“He must have been embarrassed that he got beaten and popped dozens of pills that led to his death,” another local upper-caste person said.

But the Dalits in the village, who are livid over Jitendra’s death, hotly deny these claims.

They say Jitendra suffered from epilepsy, but insist there is no chance that he overdosed on his medication.

Apart from these expressions of anger, local Dalit families have largely remained silent.

“It is because they are economically dependent on families from the higher castes,” activist Daulat Kunwar said.

“Most Dalits are landless. They work the fields of their wealthy upper caste neighbours. They know the consequences of speaking out loud.”

Jitendra’s family has already experienced some of these consequences – Geeta Devi says they are under pressure to stop pushing for the truth.

“Some men came over to our house and tried to scare us,” she said. “There is no one to support us but I will never give up our quest for justice.”

Source: The BBC

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07/03/2019

Days after Pulwama, 1 killed, 29 injured in grenade blast inside bus in Jammu

The incident comes less than a month after over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

One person was killed and 29, including a woman injured in a blast after a grenade was tossed at a bus in the general bus stand in the heart of Jammu on Thursday. The condition of five injured is said to be serious.
The killed youth has been identified as a 17-year-old Mohammad Sharik of Haridwar in Uttrakhand.
Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said a local investigation has been initiated into the incident. He further said the government has given complete liberty to the forces to take all necessary steps.
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has been rushed to the site of the blast.
The Chinese grenade exploded in the bus at about 12 noon. The driver and conductor were among the injured rushed to the Government Medical College, Jammu. The injured include passengers belonging to Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Uttrakhand, Jammu and the Kashmir valley.
Visuals from the blast site showed the damaged bus of the J&K Road Transport Corporation (JKSRTC) in which the grenade exploded.
The area has been cordoned off by the security personnel. Nature and the cause is being ascertained, police said.
Fifteen suspects have been rounded up for interrogation.
The grenade attack has coincided with the shifting of detained separatist Yasin Malik to the Jammu’s Kot-Bhalwal jail.
Police suspected the JeM outfit behind the attack. Some radicals had threatened of revenge during the recent communal tension here when about six cars were burnt.
K Vijay Kumar and KK Sharma,  both advisors to the Governor, visited the spot to take stock of the situation. The divisional commissioner, deputy commissioner and senior police and civil officers also visited the spot.
This is the third grenade attack in the bus stand during the past few months.
The blast comes at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is on a high alert following the heightened tensions between India and Pakistan in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.
Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the incident and called for unity to defeat terror elements in the state.
“I condemn this act of terror in the strongest possible terms. My prayers for speedy recovery of those injured. The perpetrators are out there to inflict pain and divide us. Our unity has to be our tool to defeat them,” Mufti tweeted.
The provincial president of National Conference, Devender Rana, visited the hospital to inquire about the wellbeing of injured persons.
The incident comes less than a month after over 44 CRPF personnel were killed and many injured on February 14 in one of the deadliest terror strikes in Jammu-Kashmir when a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) suicide bomber blew up an explosive-laden vehicle near their bus in Pulwama district.
The bus was part of a convoy of 78 vehicles carrying around 2500 CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.
Source; The Statesman
18/02/2019

Pulwama attack: Four Indian soldiers killed in Kashmir gun battle

Four soldiers have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir in a gun battle with militants, police say.

The clash occurred in Pulwama district, where more than 40 Indian paramilitary police were killed in a suicide attack on Thursday, raising tensions between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan.

A civilian and two alleged militants were also killed as Indian troops searched for suspects.

Meanwhile Pakistan recalled its ambassador for consultations.

India had already recalled its top diplomat from Pakistan in the wake of Thursday’s attack – in which it said the Pakistani state was complicit.

Pakistan denies any role in the bombing, which was claimed by a group based on its soil – Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)

What’s happening in Pulwama?

Police say two militants who were trapped in Pinglena village were killed in Monday’s operation. Both are JeM members and one is a Pakistani national, authorities said.

Heavy gunfire has been heard, and Indian security officials are appealing to villagers to stay indoors.

Police told BBC Urdu that when they fired “warning shots” at the house where the alleged militants were hiding, they fired back. One officer critically injured was taken to hospital.

The owner of the house was killed during the exchange of fire, police added.

Indian security forces have been hunting for militants with suspected links to JeM following Thursday’s bombing, which saw a vehicle packed with explosives ram a convoy of 78 buses carrying Indian security forces.

map

The suicide bomber was identified as a local Kashmiri aged between 19 and 21.

More than 20 people were detained on Sunday, according to police.

How high are tensions?

Kashmir has been a flashpoint between India and Pakistan since independence.

Both countries claim all of Muslim-majority Kashmir but control only parts of it. They have fought two wars and a limited conflict in the region.

Thursday’s attack was the deadliest attack against Indian forces since an Islamist-led insurgency began in 1989. It sparked anti-Pakistan protests in some Indian cities and angry mobs targeted Kashmiri students and businessmen.

Mobile internet services in Indian-administered Kashmir were cut over the weekend and the Indian government has pulled security normally provided to at least five Kashmiri separatist leaders.

Isolated incidents of students from Kashmir being beaten up or evicted from their accommodation in northern Indian states have also been reported.

India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) offered help to students in need, but also warned of false reports.

In broader terms, there has has been a spike in violence in Indian-administered Kashmir since Indian forces killed a popular militant in 2016. Significant numbers of young men have joined the insurgency in recent years and the funerals of well-known militants draw huge crowds who want to pay respects to “martyrs”.

India has been accused of using excessive force to control protests with thousands of people suffering eye injuries or being blinded by pellet guns.

How might India retaliate?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is facing an election later this year, has vowed a strong response and says he will give the military free rein.

The last time an attack on Indian forces close to this magnitude occurred in Kashmir was in 2016, when 19 soldiers were killed at a base. In response to that, India carried out “surgical strikes” which involved Indian soldiers crossing the de facto border to hit Pakistani posts.

This time analysts say heavy snow in the region could make that kind of limited ground response impossible. But there are fears that going further, for example with air strikes, could lead to Pakistani retaliation and a significant escalation.

So far India has focused on retaliation by economic and diplomatic means. It has revoked Pakistan’s Most Favoured Nation trading status, raised customs duties to 200% and vowed to isolate it in the international community.

Presentational grey line

Despite tensions Pakistan is calm

By Secunder Kermani, BBC Pakistan correspondent

The threat of Indian military action has not provoked widespread concern amongst the general public in Pakistan. Previous attacks by militants like JeM, believed to have close links to the intelligence services, have been seen as attempts by the Pakistani military to prevent the civilian government developing too friendly a relationship with India.

However, since Imran Khan was elected as prime minister here, many have begun to believe both the army and his administration were united in wanting to improve cross border ties.

Whether Pakistan was involved in the attack or not, it seems unlikely concerted action will now be taken against JeM. Its leader has been in “protective custody” since another attack in 2016, but still regularly releases audio messages to followers.

The group has in the past been a useful tool for Pakistan’s intelligence services wanting to foment unrest across the border, and authorities may now be reluctant to confront them, in case they turn against the Pakistani state as some of their members have done in the past.

Source: The BBC

18/02/2019

Pulwama encounter: CRPF convoy attack mastermind Ghazi killed; Major among 5 others dead

Ghazi Abdul Rashid was an aide of the Pakistan-based JeM patron, Masood Azhar, and had infiltrated into India in mid-December to train Kashmiri terrorists in IED blasts, according to authorities

SP Sharma | Jammu | 

In a major success, security forces in Jammu and Kashmir killed two Pakistani terrorists, including Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) top commander Ghazi Abdul Rashid who was the mastermind of the 14 February Pulwama terror attack in which 44 CRPF jawans were martyred, in an encounter in the same of South Kashmir area on Monday. Ghazi, a trusted man of JeM patron Azhar Masood, reportedly motivated and trained a Kashmiri youth, Adil Dar, to ram his explosives-laden car into a convoy of CRPF vehicles. The nearly 10-hour-long Pulwama encounter also left four Army personnel, including a Major, and a civilian killed.

The second slain militant was identified as Bilal Ahmed Naik, who was a local Kashmiri.

The encounter took place after a joint team of the Army, the CRPF and the J&K Police cordoned off the area on Sunday night.

The martyred soldiers are Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, Havaldar Sheo Ram, and Sepoys Ajay Kumar and Hari Singh. After Major Chitresh Singh Bisht, who died while defusing a mine in Rajouri on Saturday, Major Dhoundiyal is the second officer of the rank from Dehradun to be attain martyrdom in Kashmir this month.

Source: The Statesman

14/02/2019

20 CRPF jawans killed, over 45 injured in suicide blast in J-K’s Pulwama; JeM claims attack

This is the worst terror attack on security personnel since the Uri incident in September 2016 which left 18 soldiers dead.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

 

CRPF DG RR Bhatnagar said the convoy carrying the soldiers was travelling from Jammu to Srinagar when the attack occurred. Terrorists continued to fire at the convoy even after the bus was completely charred. The convoy consisted of 70 vehicles carrying about 2500 soldiers. Two CRPF vehicles were damaged in the attack.

The attack has reportedly happened on a heavily guarded highway.

The attack is being taken seriously as the highway particularly in South Kashmir is properly sanitised before movement of convoys of security forces. The Road Opening Parties (ROPs) also conduct thorough checking of the road for possible IEDs.

The DGP of J-K Police, Dilbag Singh, confirmed that it was a suicide attack in which an explosive-laden car was rammed into the CRPF bus.

The bus was completely destroyed and mutilated bodies of the jawans lay scattered on the road that also bore blood stains.

At least 13 jawans were killed on the spot and others succumbed in the hospital.

The injured jawans have been rushed to the 92 Base hospital of the Military and CRPF hospital.

Pakistan backed Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the Pulwama terror attack, in a text message to Kashmiri News Agency GNS.

A spokesman of JeM claimed that the attack was carried out by their activist Aadil Ahmad of Gundi Bagh in Pulwama.

Former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the gruesome attack.Former chief minister Omar Abdullah also condemned the attack and extended his condolences to the families of the bereaved.

 

The convoy was held up in Jammu for the past six days due to the closure of the Jammu-Srinagar highway because of snow and landslides and proceeded to Srinagar this morning only after the highway was opened for one way traffic.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to be assigned the investigation of the attack.

This is the worst terror attack on security personnel since the Uri incident in September 2016.

Eighteen soldiers were killed and several others injured when heavily-armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Indian Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town.

Source: The Statesman
14/12/2018

Hunt on in India for leopard that killed meditating monk

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Indian forest rangers have launched a hunt for a leopard that killed a monk meditating under a tree deep in a jungle.

The monk, Rahul Walke Bodhi, had been meditating in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in the western state of Maharashtra for the last month, and was attacked while offering morning prayers on Tuesday, a forest official said.

Two other monks who were on their way to give him food said they witnessed the attack but Walke was dead by the time they reached him, according to a second forest official.

“I would like to tell everyone not to go into the forest,” Gajendra Narwane, deputy director of the reserve, told the BBC Marathi-language service.

Forest rangers have set up two cages and a camera trap to try to capture the animal. It was not clear what they would do with it if they caught it.

The forest, some 825 km (510 miles) east of the city of Mumbai, is in a reserve for big cats where four other fatal attacks have occurred in the last few weeks, according to media.

Forest officials have cordoned off the area where the monk was killed and are restricting the timing of visitor access to a Buddhist temple there.

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