Indian authorities jam Srinagar

Indian security forces kept occupied Kashmir’s biggest city of Srinagar largely jammed down on Monday, the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, to prevent any major protests against a decision that eliminated the Himalayan region’s specific rights. Dissatisfaction is growing in Muslim-majority Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan, over India’s move last week to reduce autonomy for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, including a block on non-residents buying property. Hundreds of people shouting anti-India slogans poured on to the streets following prayers in the neighborhood of Soura, the site of a huge demonstration on Friday, but authorities largely cordoned off the area and kept the protest restricted. The voices of protesters chanting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans grew louder as the sound of helicopters expanded overhead, among at least three of the aircraft that hovered over Srinagar to keep wake. By stander reported incidents of stone throwing of security forces on Sunday and Monday morning. Reuters reporters were among the many people stopped at roadblocks and kept from entering parts of the city on Sunday. People still gathered in mosques in large numbers in Kashmir on Monday. Nevertheless in Srinagar, several major mosques and religious sites, including the famous Jamia Masjid mosque with a capacity of more than 30,000, were closed, and worshippers were urged to attend prayers in smaller mosques near where they lived. The crackdown on communications remained in place for an eighth day, with no normal Internet, mobile phone or fixed-line links working. Almost no independent information has appeared from elsewhere in the Kashmir Valley but Srinagar in the past week. More than 500 regional leaders and activists remain in various forms of custody. Residents said the intent silence on the city’s streets was like nothing they had ever seen before on the Eid festival. Even well-known areas, such as the city square, Lal Chowk that would else be crowded with people were vacant. Shops were shut, their shutters and walls carrying anti-India graffiti including, “Go India Go back” and “We Want Freedom”. Innumerable paramilitary and police officials referred to the restrictions as a “curfew” in conversations with Reuters reporters. India’s official position is that there are no limitations, but no curfew. The block in Srinagar was the city’s stringiest ever. Police and troops, many wearing heavy riot gear, quiet streets where checkpoints had been added around midnight, with more concertina wire laid out to generate barricades. The decision to fasten restrictions followed a meeting of the state’s chief secretary with district administrative and police officials on Sunday. Many women were among the people seen breaking down in tears.
Leaders in Kashmir had cautioned of a repercussion against removing autonomy from a territory where Kashmiris have battled Indian rule for about 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 80,000 people. Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic relations with India and suspended trade in anger at Delhi’s latest change. The Pakistani government asked its citizens to observe the Eid festival in a humble manner this year to voice solidarity with Kashmiris living on the Indian side of the divided region. There were prayers devoted to Kashmiris in India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has long endeavored to abolish Kashmir’s specific rights in the region, which it sees as a measure of to calm Muslims that hampers development. Indian news exits that mimic the government line on India-held Kashmir and the Article 370 that eliminate the territory of its special status a few days ago are in full weep. Whereas the media in India held Kashmir has been engaged with a total communication blackout in force since Aug 4. Media persons are struggling out images and images on flash drives to be hand-carried by people travelling out of the area. For example, the few papers still publishing, which have cut down their pages significantly, are being circulated primarily at night.
A statement by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, had made it apparent that the UN’s position on the Kashmir dispute continues to be governed by the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions regarding the contested region. He urged both countries to display greater restraint while referring the Shimla Agreement of 1972 between India and Pakistan, which requires the dispute to be settled by peaceful means. Guterres also voiced concern over the human rights situation in India-occupied Kashmir, where the internet and phone connections have been cut off, a curfew imposed, leading politicians put under house arrest, and many civilians apparently martyred. Guterres’ statement is apparently an endorsement of arguments against the quick abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution of India, pushed through by the Narendra Modi government. Modi, for his part, continues to do his best to lie to the world and his own citizens. The Muslim-majority region has been under a record breaking lockdown and communications blackout to prevent the distressed population from telling the world what the Hindutva proponent, heading the BJP, has in store for them. Prime Minister Modi approached the Indians to explain the refered better side of the scrapping Article three-seventy. He said his action would lead to a hurried of development works in the region. He could not explain why such advancement is not observed in areas already in Indian area control in those states which have been without special autonomous provisions.

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