A claim widely circulated on social media asserts that Indian troops have reportedly killed five individuals in the Kulgam district of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), alleging an attack on Kashmiri youth in the Kulgam Valley.
Users who are sharing the claim
The claim was put forth by an individual identified as Riffat Wani (@FrwaChaudhry) on social media. Wani claims to be a journalist with a specific interest in Pakistani politics, as her Bio reads. The account user wrote, “Indian troops in their fresh act of state terrorism martyred five Kashmiri youth, in Kulgam district of IIOJK.” The account user shared the claim with the news article of Kashmir Media Service.
The article written by Kashmir Media Service quoted the news, “ According to Kashmir Media Service, the troops martyred five youth identified as Sameer Ahmed Sheikh, Danish Ahmed Thokar, Hunzallah Yaqoob Shah, Ubaid Ahmed Padder and Yasir Butt during a violent cordon and search operation in Samnoo area of Kulgam district. The troops also destroyed two residential houses by using chemical substance through a drone in the area.”
We investigated the viral assertion and verified the information through the official communication from Kashmir Police. We located a tweet from their official account confirming the incident in Kulgam Valley.
According to Kashmir Police, a joint operation involving Kulgam Police, Army, and CRPF resulted in the neutralization of 5 terrorists in the Kulgam district. Additionally, they reported the recovery of ‘Incriminating Materials’ during the operation.
The initial tweet was succeeded by another post containing details about the commencement of the operation. The security forces initiated the encounter operation in the Samno, D.H Pora Area of Kulgam District.
The incident was also reported by various media outlets. An article published by NDTV on 17 Nov 2023, informed, “ Inspector-General of Police Vidhi Kumar Birdi told news agency ANI the five may have been from the Lashkar-e-Taiba group. “Security forces got an intelligence input regarding the movement of some terrorists in Kulgam. During the search operation, a terrorist fired from a house, after which an encounter broke out. So far, five terrorists, possibly LeT have been killed and some bodies sighted…”
Based on the fact check, it is clear that the claim made by the social media user is misleading. There have been no reports of the killing of Kashmiri youths. Authorities in Kashmir have stated that the incident in the Kulgam district was an encounter with terrorists.