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Under the Wheels of Occupation: Indian Army Vehicle Killing Kashmiris

On May 15th, a Kashmiri civilian was crushed to death by an Indian army vehicle as he was walking.

Ghulam Mohammad Hajab was walking through a pedestrian area when the army vehicle fatally hit him in Bemina area of Srinagar.

This is not the first time that India has killed Kashmiri civilians using this method. Though the death of the civilian is being presented by army officials as an accident, the pattern of such incidents suggests otherwise. 

In March, this year, an elderly man was similarly killed after being hit by an Indian army vehicle in Gulshan Chowk area of north Kashmir’s Bandipora district. He had already crossed the road when they drove over him, the locals alleging that it was done with intent.

A six year old boy also lost his life after he was hit by an army vehicle in Budhal area of Rajouri District in April, this year. 

In 2019, a thirteen-year-old boy was crushed to death by an Indian army vehicle in the Poonch district of the occupied region. 

In 2018, similarly, a civilian named Qaiser Amin Bhat was killed after he was run over by a paramilitary vehicle during a peaceful protest. The Indian security personnel drove an armored vehicle wildly into a crowd of protesters in Srinagar, slamming into a half-dozen people and crushing Qaiser beneath its wheels, leaving him with fatal injuries.

In December 2023, a scooter-driver, Ghulam Hassan Magray, was killed after being hit by an army vehicle in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district. In November 2023, Manzoor Ahmad Wani died after his bike was hit by an army vehicle in Srinagar’s Baghat Chowk. 

In April 2021, for over three weeks, 16-year-old Safran Ahmad Kathjoo battled for life in Srinagar’s hospital before he was discharged. The teenager was critically injured after being hit by an army vehicle in Srinagar’s Saida Kadal area. The same year, in July, an elderly woman was killed after she was hit by an army vehicle in the Nadihal area of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.

These events are either not reported at all in the local media, or mis-reported as mere accidents, due to the pervasive crackdown on free press in Kashmir. The recurrent nature of these events also reflects the excessive militarization of life in Kashmir. Such “accidents” are bound to happen due to the never-ending military convoy movements throughout Kashmir.

No army man has been prosecuted for these deaths, nor has there been any investigation launched into these incidents, reflecting the culture of impunity within which Indian army operates in the valley.

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