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APP
September 15, 2019

Amnesty once again urges India to lift Kashmir lockdown

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APP
September 15, 2019

By News Desk

ISLAMABAD: Amnesty International once again demanded an end to the continued lockdown in Indian-occupied Kashmir — which entered its 41st day on Saturday — urged India to let the people of the disputed Himalayan region “speak”.

In a video posted on Twitter, Amnesty International exposed the gruesome crimes being committed by Indian forces personnel against the people of occupied Kashmir, according to the Kashmir Media Service.

The video was posted with an accompanying caption that said: “The Kashmir blackout is over 40 days old. 8 million people are under lockdown. In the world’s most militarised zone.”

The video provides a glimpse on the crisis in occupied Kashmir that has gripped the Muslim majority territory since August 5 when India revoked the territory’s special status.

“Cell phones and Internet remain disconnected. Families unable to speak with loved ones. The government in near-total control of information,” the video says.

It adds: “All this amidst reports of: Disrupted emergency services, mid-night raids, torture, tear gas, rubber bullets, pellet guns, detention of thousands of Kashmiris including doctors, journalists, political leaders, activists. The human cost of this blackout cannot be ignored. Lift the blackout. Let Kashmir speak.”

Meanwhile, occupation authorities further tightened restrictions in Srinagar and other areas to prevent people from staging demonstrations against the repeal the disputed region’s special status by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Despite the lockdown, people defied the restrictions in Srinagar, Baramulla, Bandipora, Kupwara, Pulwama, Shopian, Islamabad and other areas and staged demonstrations. They raised high-pitched anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, but Indian troops used brute force to disperse the protesters.

Mobile and internet services, as well as television channels, remain closed in the entire Kashmir Valley and in some parts of the Jammu region. Occupation authorities also imposed a curfew in Kishtwar town after unidentified individuals snatched a rifle from the bodyguard of a People’s Democratic Party leader.

Meanwhile, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) estimated that the occupied territory incurred a loss of Rs 3,900 crores (39 billion) in 39 days of the lockdown. KCCI President Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad, in a media interview in Srinagar said, on an average Kashmir loses at least Rs 100-120 crores daily due to the lockdown.—APP/News Desk

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