Six injured in IOK during protests against repeal of Article 370

Srinagar, August 07 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, at least six people were injured due to the use of brute force by Indian troops on protest demonstrations against India’s move of repealing Article 370, which granted special status to the territory.

A hospital in Srinagar had admitted six patients with gunshot wounds or other injuries caused by lethal weapons, a source at the facility said on condition of anonymity.

The residents leaving the occupied territory spoke of a tense military crackdown and protests breaking out against the Indian government’s shocking move to scrap its special status.

Occupied Kashmir has been virtually cut off from the rest of the world after Indian authorities took down phone and internet services ahead of Monday’s announcement by Narendra Modi-led Hindu nationalist government. Public gatherings and rallies have also been banned.

However, in some of the first observations reported from occupied Kashmir, passengers who arrived in New Delhi on flights from Srinagar spoke of the tense situation in the territory.

A traveller, who asked to remain anonymous, said he heard intermittent gunfire and other weapons being fired since Monday, soldiers shouting during the night, and saw government troops deployed “every five steps”. “My car was checked at least 25 times on the way to the airport and it took me almost four hours to cover a distance of hardly 30 minutes,” he told AFP.

Mubeen Masoodi, who also arrived from Srinagar, said he was at a wedding on Sunday night when suddenly the revellers realised their phones were no longer working. “While we were having our food (around) midnight, that is when the phones one by one went (off)… and that’s when people realised something big is happening and everyone just rushed back home,” he said.

Sanna Wani, a Kashmiri poet, took to Twitter to describe the fear and panic gripping Srinagar before she managed to get a flight out. She said even those residents citing medical emergencies were not allowed to get past a security checkpoint.

The stories of apprehension felt by Kashmiri residents came as Rupert Colville, the spokesman for UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the communications blackout and security clampdown were deeply concerning. “We are seeing, again, blanket telecommunications restrictions, perhaps more blanket than we have ever seen before, the reported arbitrary detention of political leaders and restrictions on peaceful assembly,” he told reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.

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