Amnesty condemns militants targeting civilians in Kashmir

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Srinagar, April 17 (IANS) Rights group Amnesty International on Monday condemned the “targeting of civilians in Kashmir by armed groups”, after undated videos showed two men forced to shout anti-India slogans.

“The killings, intimidation and harassment of ordinary people by suspected armed group members can never be justified, and should stop immediately,” Aakar Patel, Executive Director at Amnesty International India, said in a statement.

Urging the authorities to investigate these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice, the statement said people’s political or personal associations should “not be reason for them to come under attack”.

The videos uploaded on social media over the last week appeared to show members of armed groups forcing two political workers to apologise for their political associations at gunpoint.

The men – identified as Bashir Ahmad, a former worker of the National Conference party, and Wali Muhammad, a People’s Democratic Party worker – are also forced to raise slogans including “Hindustan Murdabad” and “India, go back”.

On April 15, a civilian was killed and another injured in attacks by unidentified gunmen in Pulwama. A day later, Imtiyaz Ahmad, a former public prosecutor, was shot dead by suspected armed group members inside his house in Shopian.

The statement also took note of militants ransacking the homes of police personnel and threatening their family members that had prompted the Jammu and Kashmir police chief to advise the force personnel to “preferably avoid visiting their homes for the next few months”.

–IANS

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