Miseries of IOK people continue due to lockdown

Canadian HR activists to intensify efforts for Kashmir

Srinagar, December 28 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, the miseries of the residents of the Kashmir Valley continued unabated as they remained besieged on 146th consecutive day, today.

As restrictions under Section 144 remain enforced amid deployment of thousands of Indian troops, the people of the Valley are cut off from their immediate surroundings and the entire world due to ban on internet, text messaging and prepaid mobile services. The harshest cold weather has added to the woes of the besieged people as they couldn’t stock essential commodities for the winter season. As per a centuries-old practice, usually the inhabitants of the Valley used to store food stuff and firewood in abundance for the winter as the Srinagar-Jammu Highway – the only surface link of the region with the rest of the world – remains mostly closed due to snowfall and rains in the months of December and January. However, this time around, they could not do so due to military lockdown which is in force since 5th August.

The students and businesses are the worst sufferers of continued suspension of the internet services since 5th August, this year. Hundreds of students, who aspire to appear in various competitive examinations, have to make frequent visits to the internet kiosks set up in offices of deputy commissioners of some districts. However, these facilitation centres are not enough to cater to a huge number of students and job aspirants who have to fill the forms online.

On the other hand, the occupation authorities had pressed into service drones to keep a close vigil during Friday prayers in Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid, yesterday. Indian troops and police personnel were deployed in large numbers outside the mosque to prevent anti-India demonstrations.

The High Court of occupied Kashmir has quashed detention orders of three persons booked under draconian law, Public Safety Act.

The occupation authorities have dropped Martyrs’ Day observed on 13th July and the birth anniversary of former puppet Chief Minister Sheikh Abdullah on 5th December from the list of public holidays for 2020. However, 26th October is in the list of public holidays as so-called Accession Day.

Members of a delegation of human rights activists from Canada at the conclusion of their three-week visit to Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, vowed to intensify their efforts on behalf of the suffering people of occupied Kashmir. The delegation was led by Zafar Bangash, Convener of Friends of Kashmir Committee Canada and also included Mrs Karen Rodman, Ms Michaela Lavis and Dr Jonathan Kuttab.

APHC-AJK leader and Vice Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement, Abdul Majeed Malik talking in Islamabad to the Kashmiri refugees, who had come from Bagh and Kotli areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, appealed to the world community to put pressure on India to settle the Kashmir dispute according to the UN resolutions and Kashmiris’ aspirations.

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