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Violence kills 204 in Kashmir in 2013

Updated: 2014-01-02 16:21
( Xinhua)

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir - Violence claimed 204 lives in the restive Indian-controlled Kashmir during 2013, a human rights group said Thursday.

According to the rights group Coalition of Civil Society (CCS), of the 204 killed, 48 were civilians, 73 were suspected militants, one was unidentified and 82 were Indian troopers.

In 2012, the number of recorded deaths due to violence was 148.

The figures suggest compared to 2012, a 38 percent increase in violence across the restive region has been witnessed during last year.

A guerrilla war is going on between militants and Indian troops in Indian-controlled Kashmir. The gunfight between the two takes place intermittently across the region.

"Last year the number of people killed in violence was comparatively higher in comparison to 2012," said Khurram Parvez, the coordinator of CCS. "The year 2013 continued to add to the losses, victimization, mourning, pain and helplessness of the people here. As usual, the people of region witnessed unabated violence, human rights abuses and denial of civil and political rights."

The casualties suffered during 2013 shows an upward trend, especially of Indian troops and civilians.

The CCS report, "Human Rights Review 2013," said 82 personnel from armed forces and police were killed last year, which includes eight suicides and four incidents of fratricides. In 2012, the number of troop casualties was 36. Likewise civilian deaths have shown an increase from 35 in 2012 to 48 during last year.

"Among the 82 Indian troops killed in 2013, 42 belong to the Indian army, 17 were from the different paramilitary groups, 22 personnel were from police and one was a village defense committee (VDC) member," said Parvez.

Indian-controlled Kashmir is considered as the highest militarized region. Officially India does not reveal the actual number of troops it deployed in the troubled region. However, rights activists say there are over 700,000 Indian troops and paramilitary troops in the region fighting an anti-India insurgency that broke out in 1989.

During the past more than two decades several incidents of suicide and fratricide among the stationed troops were reported.

Health experts say continued separation from family, long duty hours, lack of recreational facilities, poor command and control structure were usually found to be behind such incidents.

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