By RASHKAT BABANI and KAREN GANDALAUNNNEW DELHI, Oct. 27 (Reuters) – A prominent Hindu guru who has become a major figure in Kashmir has been killed by militants, security sources said, in the latest violence between India and Pakistan-based militant groups in the volatile region.
The incident on Sunday was the latest to cast doubt on India’s claim that its forces have defeated the militants and that India has taken back control of the disputed Kashmir region, where a cross-border incursion by Pakistan in 1999 led to the deaths of more than 2,000 people.
A senior official in India’s army told Reuters that the slain Indian army officer, a veteran of the 1965 war, was killed by unidentified gunmen in the southern city of Srinagar.
The Indian army has denied any involvement in the killing, and it said the army is conducting a thorough probe.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been pushing for a ceasefire in the region since he took office in May, but has yet to meet the demands of Kashmiris and their allies who say Kashmir must be reunited with India.
India’s armed forces say they are ready to take any necessary measures to end the armed struggle in the area, which the Pakistani army says is an illegal armed insurgency.
On Sunday, a Kashmiri separatist group said it had killed one Indian soldier after the killing of another.
The Pakistani Taliban denied any role in the incident.