At least 15 residential houses have been reduced to debris, rendering several dozen families homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A neighbourhood of 15 houses in India-administered Kashmir was gutted by a devastating fire. It was allegedly started by the Indian police and paramilitary forces during what was a 12-hour long gunfight with two local rebels reportedly hiding in one of the residential properties.
Pankaj Singh, one of India’s paramilitary spokesmen, refuted recorded testimonies of plundering and burning, calling them “baseless allegations to malign troops.”
“They stole everything, even cooking gas cylinders.”
Indian Occupation Forces ransacked and looted 15 Muslim owned homes in Srinagar, Kashmir yesterday. pic.twitter.com/DFUEIvEyVd
— CJ Werleman (@cjwerleman) May 19, 2020
He added, “It was a clean operation with no collateral damage.”
The gunfight broke out on 19 May in the densely-populated town of Srinagar, the summer capital of India-administered Kashmir. Local authorities cut off most mobile internet and phone services, a military strategy often imposed by New Delhi in the region that has been the subject of a long-raging dispute between India and Pakistan since 1947.