India’s troop buildup triggers panic among Kashmir residents
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — An Indian soldier has been killed during a gunbattle with rebels in Kashmir amid panic among residents over reports of India’s deployment of thousands of more soldiers to the disputed region.
Police say fighting erupted on Friday after police and soldiers cordoned off a village in southern Shopian area on a tip that militants were hiding there.
As the news of the fighting spread, anti-India protests and clashes broke out in solidarity with militants.
Panic has gripped Kashmir since last week after India announced deploying at least 10,000 more soldiers to one of the world’s highest militarized areas.
The troop build-up has sparked fears in Kashmir that New Delhi is planning to scrap an Indian constitutional provision that disallows Indians to buy land in the Muslim-majority region.