Curfew continues in Kashmir valley on 13th successive day

Srinagar, August 17 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the authorities continue to impose strict curfew and other restrictions across the Kashmir valley on the 13th consecutive day, today, to prevent people from holding demonstrations against India’s move of ending special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Hundreds of people defying curfew took to the streets in Srinagar after Juma prayers yesterday to express their resentment against New Delhi’s move of repealing Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to the territory. They raised high-pitched anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. Placards with “Thank you Pakistan slogans” were displayed.

The Indian authorities had been maintaining a strict curfew in the Kashmir valley since 5th August when Narendra Modi government announced scraping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The authorities have turned 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 authorities also continue to impose information blockade as TV channels and internet links remain snapped and restrictions on media continue since 5th August.

Local newspapers even failed to update their online editions during all this period while majority of them could also not be printed 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 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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