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APP
February 14, 2020

Top US senators alarmed over internet curbs in held Kashmir

Top Story

A
APP
February 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s India visit later this month, four top US senators, two Democrats and two Republicans, have expressed concern about the continued internet curbs in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and detention of political leaders.

In their letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, they also expressed concern over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that triggered protests across India, the Kashmir Media Service reported.

The senators said the Indian government “continues to block most Internet in the region. India has now imposed the longest ever internet shutdown by a democracy, disrupting access to medical care, business and education for 7 million people”.

India had suspended the Internet services in occupied Kashmir on August 05, 2019 when it revoked the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to the territory. “Hundreds of Kashmiris remain in ‘preventive detention’ including key political figures,” their letter to Mike Pompeo stated. It added: “These actions have severe consequences”.

Trump and Melania Trump will arrive for a two-day India visit on February 24. They will begin their visit with an event in Ahmedabad in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat.

Among the four senators who wrote the letter is Lindsey Graham who is very close to Donald Trump. “The Indian government has taken other troubling steps that threaten the rights of certain religious minorities and the secular character of the state.

This includes the passage of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act,” the senators say.

The letter demands an assessment by the US government within 30 days of the number of Kashmiris detained by the Indian government for political purposes after revocation of Article 370.