Srinagar, August 10 (KMS): The BBC correspondent, Geeta Pandey, who travelled for two days around occupied Kashmir, has painted a grim picture during her visit.

Geeta Pandey in a report wrote that Khanyar is the heart of Srinagar city but to get there, they passed through half a dozen roadblocks.

She said, “As we come across yet another barricade, I get out of my car to take some photos. A few men emerge from a laneway to complain about living under what to many feels like a siege. “This is extreme thuggery on the authorities’ part,” says an elderly member of the group.”

She said, the paramilitary police try to hustle us away but the man wants to be heard. “You lock us up during the day. You lock us up at night,” he shouts angrily, wagging his finger. The policeman says there’s a curfew in place and that they must go inside immediately. But the diminutive old man stands his ground and challenges him again.”

Geeta Pandey said at that point, she was ordered to leave. “But before I can, a young man, carrying his toddler son in his arms, tells me he is ready to pick up a gun to fight India,” she added.

“This is my only son. He’s too small now, but I will prepare him to pick up a gun too,” he says. “He’s so angry that he doesn’t even care that he’s saying all this within earshot of the policeman standing near us,” she writes.

She said across the Kashmir valley, she met men who told her that they no longer want to live life in fear of the Indian forces.

“This is very much the dominant sentiment everywhere I go – anger mixed with fear and worry, and a fierce determination to resist the Indian government’s move,” she maintained.

Srinagar – the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir – has been under a virtual lockdown since Monday morning and the city resembles a ghost town. Shops, schools, colleges and offices are all shut and there is no public transport on the roads.

Thousands of gun-wielding troops patrol deserted streets that are barricaded with coils of razor wire, and residents remain locked up inside their homes.


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