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Sunday Aug 18 2019
Web Desk

Curfew, communication blockade enters 14th day in occupied Kashmir

Web Desk
A general view of a deserted road during a lockdown in Srinagar on August 15, 2019. Photo: AFP

SRINAGAR: Communications and curfew blockade entered its 14th day in occupied Kashmir, following the Indian government’s decision to abolish Article 370 of the constitution, which granted special status to the occupied valley.

The Indian authorities have been maintaining a strict curfew in the valley since August 5 when Narendra Modi government announced scrapping of the special status of occupied Kashmir. 

On Saturday, residents of the valley defied the curfew and protested against the abrogation of the special status resulting in several people getting injured. Six were shifted to a hospital in critical condition after the Indian occupying forces fired pellets and bullets on the protesters. 

Protesters shout slogans at a rally against the Indian government´s move to strip occupied Kashmir of its autonomy and impose a communications blackout, in Srinagar on August 16, 2019. Photo: AFP

Internet and phone communications remain clocked in the region while tens of thousands of troop reinforcements have flooded the main city of Srinagar and other towns and villages in the occupied valley.

In addition, many of the region’s urban areas remained in lockdown and more than 500 political or community leaders and activists remained in detention.

According to Australian journalist CJ Werleman, since 1989, the occupying forces in the valley have killed more than 7,000 Kashmiris in custody and tortured thousands. The troops have killed 95,000 Kashmiris with 10,000 missing.

He added,  more than 80,000 children have been orphaned in the valley over the last few decades with these having lost either one or both their parents in the conflict.

The Indian authorities have been maintaining a strict curfew in the valley since August 5th. Photo: Reuters 

Moreover, there are more than 6,000 unmarked and mass graves with most of them belonging to those believed to be missing and buried in the unmarked graves.

He added that there was one Indian soldier for every 10 Kashmiris making it one of the world’s heaviest militarized zone, even more than Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza.

According to estimates, there are 900,000 deployed in the valley after the Indian government revoked the special status of the valley. 

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