India-Jammu and Kashmir State: Troopers from a Border Security Force battalion fired on demonstrators in the Ramban District of Kashmir. They killed four locals and injured up to 40.
Comment: Ramban District lies in the west central region of the state. It does not border Pakistani Kashmir and is not a usual location for security incidents. It is not a hotbed of Kashmiri militants.
That makes this an unusual incident and worth review. There are conflicting explanations about the reason for the clash. They agree that a local Muslim preacher incited an attack on the camp of the Border Security Forces by accusing the security forces of having committed a sacrilege.
The most significant development in Ramban in many years is the construction of a railroad line through the district as part of the national transportation project to link by rail Srinagar in northern Kashmir to Jammu in southern Kashmir and Indian national railways. The Border Security Force battalion is in Ramban to provide security for the rail construction.
The protest appears to have arisen from an excess of zeal during Ramadan. The shooting appears to have arisen from rules of engagement that authorize the Border Security Forces to use overwhelming force to ensure the safety of workers and the security of the railroad project. Indian authorities have little tolerance for Hindu or Muslim preachers who incite violence.
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