India declares 'conditional ceasefire' in Occupied Kashmir during Ramazan

Kashmir Delhi announces ‘conditional ceasefire’ in Ramazan

A Kashmiri Muslim prays inside Kashmir's main mosque Jamia Masjid during the first day of Ramadan in Srinagar on May 17, 2018.

India's home ministry says government troops in held Kashmir have been asked to stop counter-insurgency operations during the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan.

The cross-border firing and shelling began overnight and spread to dozens of posts in the Jammu region of the Himalayan territory, said Indian police officer S.D. Singh.

Mansoor said that both India and Pakistan should take immediate measures for the de-escalation of violence, opening of more routes, initiate talks with the stakeholders and ensure successful people to people contact on both the sides of the border and LOC.

Another tweet said Indian troops "reserve the right to retaliate if attacked or if essential to protect the lives of innocent people".

In a statement, Singh sought the cooperation of "everyone" in the initiative but did not make a direct call for militants to suspend hostilities.

Indian authorities and the Hizbul Mujahideen, whose fighters are all from Kashmir, briefly ceased fighting in 2000.

Mehbooba Mufti, chief minister of the Kashmir government, said on Wednesday he hoped India's decision "will create a peaceful and amicable environment for sustained dialogue". Pakistan is predominantly Muslim and has historically supported Kashmir's separatists against Indian forces.

No separatist group fighting against Indian rule immediately issued any statement about the announcement.

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Tens of thousands of people have died in the decades-old conflict.

Violence escalated after Indian troops killed a top militant commander in a 2016 gunfight that led to months of street protests in which scores of demonstrators were killed.

Citing the Indian security officials, NYT notes that New Delhi has killed "more than 70 militants", likely linked to Pakistan, so far this year alone.

Over the a year ago, Kashmir has been sliding deeper into turmoil, with dozens of militants killed, huge protests erupting and a heavy sense of despair settling over the disputed territory.

On Thursday, a BSF trooper and a civilian were injured in Sambha and Hiranagar sectors, while as on Tuesday a BSF trooper was killed in Sambha in the similar exchanges. They have fought two of their three wars since 1947 over their competing claims to the region.

The BJP, India's ruling party, opposed the move in the meeting.

Rebel groups seek independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan.

India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Pakistan denies.

Six civilians were shot dead by government forces in protests over the killing of 5 militants on May 7, promoting Mufti to appeal for a unilateral ceasefire.

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