SRINAGAR: A police paramilitary commander was shot dead in Kashmir’s main city while at least two suspected separatist militants were killed in gun-battles Monday as violence flared in the disputed Himalayan region on Indian Independence Day.
The unnamed commander was critically injured in an ambush and died in hospital, a senior officer of India’s Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) confirmed to AFP, adding that two other members of the force were in a critical condition.
“We have lost a commanding officer. The combing operation is on,” said Atul Karwal, the force’s inspector general.
Another officer told AFP that two of the attackers are believed to have died in the gunfight in the Nowhatta locality of Srinagar although there would be no confirmation until their bodies were recovered.
Authorities have imposed a curfew in large parts of Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, since July 9 during an upsurge in violence sparked by the killing of a top militant commander.
CRPF spokesman Bhuvesh Chaudhary said the slain commander was one of nine paramilitaries who were ambushed in two attacks in Nowhatta and there had been another shooting a few kilometres away in the northern part of the city.
Indian-administered Kashmir has been under a curfew since protests broke out over the death last month of the popular young rebel leader Burhan Wani in a gunfight with security forces.
More than 50 civilians have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, and thousands more injured in the region’s worst violence since 2010.
In a separate gunfight on Monday, two militants were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) the de facto border between India and Pakistan in the northern Uri sector, an Indian army spokesman said.