Occupied Kashmir shootout, Another Politician from Modi’s party is killed

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Another politician from India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has succumbed to gunshot wounds hours after being shot by pro-independence fighters in Kashmir.

The elected village chief was shot near his home on the edge of the main city of Srinagar early on Monday. A police official said he was attacked while taking a morning walk. The politician became the fifth member of the Hindu nationalist party to have been killed by the fighters since July. Independence fighters killed two other elected village officials affiliated with the party last week. At least 16 BJP members have publicly quit the party since the attacks began in early July. They say they have “no contact” with Modi’s party anymore. The string of attacks has sent panic through the local ranks of the BJP. Last year, the administration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparked anger in the Muslim-majority Himalayan territory of Kashmir by abolishing the region’s semi-autonomous status. People in Kashmir fear New Delhi’s decision to allow Indians from other states to buy land and compete for local jobs are aimed at forcing demographic change in the region of nearly eight million people. Human Rights Watch in early August denounced India for persisting with “its repression of Kashmiri Muslims,” calling on the authorities to reverse their “abusive policies” there. Kashmir, where an armed uprising erupted in 1989, has been especially tense since Modi’s decision to revoke the territory’s constitutionally mandated local autonomy.

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