Kashmiris observe India’s Independence Day as Black Day

Curfew, communication blockade continue in Kashmir valley

Srinagar, August 15 (KMS): Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over are observing the Indian Independence Day, today, as Black Day to convey the message to the international community that they reject India’s illegal occupation of their motherland.

The Black Day is being observed in protest against the Indian unilateral action to change the disputed status of occupied Kashmir.

The occupation authorities continue to impose strict curfew and other restrictions across the Kashmir valley on the 11th straight day, today, to prevent people from holding anti-India demonstrations. The authorities have converted the valley, particularly Srinagar, into a military garrison by deploying Indian troops and police personnel in every nook and corner. In Srinagar, thousands of troops and policemen are patrolling the deserted streets, lanes and by lanes to thwart any attempt of people to stage anti-India demonstrations.

The Indian authorities had been maintaining a strict clampdown in the Kashmir valley since the night of 4th August – a day before the Narendra Modi government’s decision to scrap the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by abrogating the Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The authorities continue to impose communication blackout on the 11th consecutive day, today, as the internet and telephone links remain snapped and restrictions on media continue. Television, telephone and internet links were suspended by the Indian government to prevent demonstrations against its decision of revoking Article 370 announced on 5th August. The occupied territory remains cut off from the external world due to suspension of Internet services and telephone links. Local newspaper even failed to update their online editions since the night of 4th August. Majority of newspapers could also not be printed during all these days due to curfew and other restrictions.

On the other hand, almost all Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have been put under house arrest or in jails. Over 900 political leaders and workers including even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Engineer Abdur Rasheed, Sajjad Lone and Shah Faesal have been detained. Due to severe blockade, a famine-like situation is emerging as people are facing severe shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines and occupied Kashmir represents a humanitarian crisis in all its manifestations.

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