Mon, 26 Oct 2020

A prominent lawyer has been shot dead in Srinagar, the main city in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Babar Qadri was shot on the evening of September 24 at his home by unidentified assailants, police said on September 25.

Two men came to Qadri's home posing as his clients and opened fire when he answered, relatives added.

Qadri was rushed to a hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead. Police say they have opened an investigation.

Qadri, in his late 30s, was an outspoken defender of Kashmir's right to self-determination, appearing often in debates on Indian television news channels.

In one recent debate, Qadri shouted, "Down with India!" in response to a chant of "Down with Pakistan!" by the news channel's anchor.

Hundreds have fallen victim to targeted killings in Kashmir after an armed militancy erupted in 1989 against India's rule in the disputed region.

Tens of thousands of civilians, militants, and government forces have been killed in the conflict.

Human rights groups have blamed both militants and Indian troops for covert killings.

The status of Kashmir has been a key dispute between Pakistan and India since the two split in 1947 after British colonial rule. Both claim the region in its entirety.

The nuclear-armed rivals each control part of Kashmir and have fought two wars over its status.

Most Muslim Kashmiris want the territory to be united under Pakistani rule or to be run as a sovereign country.

New Delhi calls the Kashmir militancy Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. Pakistan denies the charge.

Based on reporting by AP and timesofindia.indiantimes.com

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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