Hundreds of people in the Kargil district of India’s Ladakh region, a newly carved out federal territory from erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir, have hit the streets to protest against the killing of Iranian Commander Qasem Soleimani by US forces.
People in Kargil protest against the killing of Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike. Kargil is a Shia dominated district in Ladakh and has deep ties with Iran. Protestors marched with palcards which read ”down with USA”. #Iraq #Iran #Kargil #USA #Kashmir pic.twitter.com/H9y1u7yhTm— Ieshan Wani (@Ieshan_W) January 3, 2020
Kargil is dominated by Shia Muslims Islam. Many of them during a protest on Friday chanted slogans saying: “Qasem Soleimani Zindabad (long live Qasem Soleimani).”
In Kargil, the main religious groups are Shia Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, and Hindus. Islamic teachings from Iran have immense influence on Shia Muslims in the region.
The demonstrators walked down the street holding placards that read: “Down with USA”. With a population of approximately 125,000, Kargil region is spread over an area of 14,086 Sq. Kms. After a blockade of nearly 145 days, internet services were restored in Kargil at the end of December.
However, the services remain suspended across most of Indian-administered Kashmir. General Soleimani, the top security and intelligence commander, was believed to be “planning attacks on Americans across the region” thus leading to the airstrike in Baghdad, the Pentagon said in a statement. He was killed early Friday in a drone strike at Baghdad International Airport.
According to US media, he was “the architect of nearly every significant operation by Iranian intelligence and military forces over the past two decades”.