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August 15, 2019

Indian forces further tighten Kashmir Lockdown

Top Story

 
August 15, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The authorities have further tightened the already strict clampdown in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) ahead of India’s independence day on Thursday (August 15), adding to the sufferings of oppressed people of the territory. Kashmiris from the very beginning have been observing the day as a black day. The occupied territory has been under lockdown since the night of August 4, when the Narendra Modi government announced scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, Kashmir Media Service reported. The communication blackout continued on the 10th successive day, on Wednesday, as the Internet and telephone links remained cut off, with strict restrictions on the media. The occupation authorities have converted the Kashmir valley, particularly Srinagar, into a military garrison and a big concentration camp by deploying Indian troops and police personnel in its every nook and cranny.

Almost all the Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq remained under house arrest or in jails, while over 900 political leaders and workers, including even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Engineer Abdur Rasheed and Sajjad Lone, have been detained.

Indian police arrested Kashmiri politician Shah Faesal at Delhi Airport while he was going abroad. He was sent back to the occupied Kashmir and booked under draconian law, Public Safety Act. Due to severe blockade, a famine-like situation is emerging as people are facing severe shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines. The occupied Kashmir represents a humanitarian crisis in all its manifestations.

Indian Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra talking to reporters in Umbha area of Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh said repealing of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir was done in an unconstitutional manner.

Officials of the University of Hyderabad and those of occupied Kashmir faced an embarrassing moment when students from occupied Kashmir spurned an invitation for an Eid lunch. The students said that they could not accept any offer from the Indian authorities to indulge in festivities while their families were suffering.

A senior officer of Indian police, Munir Khan, addressing a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday confirmed that some people sustained pellet injuries during protests in Srinagar over the week-end.

Earlier this week, IHK Governor Satya Pal Malik had denied foreign media reports of massive demonstrations in the Kashmir valley. A spine-chilling account of the situation in occupied Kashmir has gone viral, belying the Indian government’s claims. An international news organisation’s correspondent Devjyot Ghoshal in a series of tweets said that the situation is not normal in Kashmir, the people are seething and Kashmir is likely a tinderbox waiting for a spark.

The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen Chief Asaduddin Owaisi in a tweet said the BJP government loves the land of Kashmir but not the people of Kashmir. –APP

AFP adds: India’s crippling 10-day-old curfew in Kashmir will ease after Thursday, according to the State Governor, but phone lines and the internet will remain cut.

While rules on the movement of people would be eased after India’s Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, State Governor Satya Pal Malik said that phone lines and the internet would remain down. “We don’t want to give that instrument to the enemy until things settle down,” Malik told the Times of India. “In a week or 10 days, everything will be alright and we will gradually open lines of communication.”

The lockdown has not completely prevented anger at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move bursting out into the open, however.

According to residents around 8,000 people protested after Friday prayers, with security forces firing tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to break up the rally. Only on Tuesday did the Indian government confirm that clashes, blaming them on stone-throwing “miscreants” and saying its forces reacted with “restraint”.