An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 14 September 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/FAROOQ KHAN

India accuses Pakistan of interfering in Kashmir as 3 militants killed, clashes continue

New Delhi, Sep 16 (EFE).- The Indian military on Saturday accused the Pakistani security forces of interfering in an anti-insurgency operation in which three militants were killed while allegedly trying to enter India-administered Kashmir.

An Indian paramilitary soldier maintains vigil from his post in Srinagar, the summer capital of Indian Kashmir, 14 September 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/FAROOQ KHAN

The incident comes after at least eight people – including six Indians security personnel and two militants- had been killed in multiple clashes between separatist militants and security forces in the restive region between Wednesday and Friday.

In an operation in the Baramaulla district at the Line of Control – the de-facto border that divides the disputed region between India and Pakistan – “three terrorists who tried to infiltrate were engaged by alert troops,” the Chinar Corps of the Indian Army wrote in X, formerly Twitter.

Two the insurgents were shot dead, while the third died after being wounded and crossing back into Pakistan, according to the version offered by the Indian military authorities.

However, officials alleged that Pakistani forces fired at them during the operation and also during the recovery of the militants’ bodies.

Senior Indian army official, Brigadier PMS Dhillon, confirmed the deaths and accused the Pakistani military of providing fire-cover to the third militant as he tried to flee while being fired upon by Indian forces.

“This shows how Pakistan is involved in infiltration. They provide support to the terrorists by firing as well as offering moral support. And (also proves) how the Pakistan military is involved in trying to violate the peace and security of Kashmir,” Dhillon alleged.

The incident came even as a long-drawn gunbattle between a different set of militants and security forces continued in Kashmir’s southern Anantnag district, where three senior security officials were killed by the insurgents on Wednesday while another soldier succumbed to his injuries on Friday.

A large-scale operation continued in the area on Saturday against insurgents believed to be hiding in a nearby forest area.

Earlier, two militants and two security officers were killed on Wednesday in a separate battle in the Rajouri district of the region.

India and Pakistan had signed an agreement in November 2003 to cease hostilities across the Line of Control, but since 2008, both the sides have repeatedly violated the ceasefire.

After Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in India in 2014, clashes on the border with Pakistan had intensified until the agreement was ratified again in February 2021.

In 2020, Pakistani authorities had claimed that Indian troops had committed over 3,000 ceasefire violations, killing 28 people.

India and Pakistan both claim sovereignty over Kashmir since the subcontinent was divided into two nations in 1947 along with the end of the British empire. The two sides have fought two wars and several minor conflicts over the dispute. EFE