Sunday Aug 11, 2019
SRINAGAR: Thousands of people held anti-India protests in occupied Kashmir following India’s move to revoke the special status of the occupied valley.
According to Kashmir Media Service, scores of people were injured after the occupying forces and police used brute force against the protesters in Srinagar.
Defying stringent curfew, thousands of people including women, children and elderly persons gathered in Soura area of Srinagar after the Friday prayers and protested against New Delhi’s action of abrogating special status of the occupied valley.
The protesters raised slogans such as “we want freedom”, “go India go back” and “Indian constitution unacceptable” as the Indian troops and police pushed back the demonstrators at Aiwa Bridge by firing bullets, pellets and teargas shells resulting in many injured.
Meanwhile, communication blackout continued in the valley for a seventh day as tens of thousands of Indian troops have enforced a strict curfew, which includes no internet or phone services while allowing only limited movement in the streets.
Residents have been confined to their houses due to stringent restrictions amid all the communication links of the territory with the outside world snapped by the authorities.
Hurriyat leaders including All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Gilani and chairman of Hurriyat forum Mirwaiz Umar Farooq have been under house arrest or in jail, with over 800 political leaders and workers lodged in makeshift detention centres in Srinagar, Baramulla, Gurez and other areas.
Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah — along with regional party leader Sajad Lone — also continue to be under house arrest.
India rushed through a presidential decree this week to abolish Article 370, which revoked the special status granted to occupied Kashmir and made the state a Union Territory with the legislature. The move followed days of uncertainty in the region that began last week when New Delhi ordered tourists and Hindu pilgrims to leave "immediately" and sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed valley.