IOK internet gag can be deadly during covid-19: RSF

Immediate release of Kashmiri detainees demanded

Islamabad, March 28 (KMS): Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontières has termed the continued restrictions on the high speed internet in occupied Kashmir as potentially criminal irresponsibility of New Delhi during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released to media, Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, said that 8 million Kashmiris continued to be cut off from the absolutely vital information that was needed to prevent the spread of the pandemic, when people under lockdown all over the world are using the internet to work, communicate and get information. He said, this is the cruel reality to which the citizens of the Kashmir Valley, including its journalists, are currently being subjected. He demanded of India to immediately restore the high speed Internet in the territory.

And the Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference, Shabbir Ahmed Dar, in a statement in Srinagar appreciated the government of Pakistan for highlighting the miserable condition of the Kashmiri people. Referring to Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s recent letter to the United Nations Secretary General and President of UN Security Council, he said that the continuous efforts by Pakistan had made the world realize the importance of an immediate resolution of the Kashmir dispute.

APHC leader and the Chairperson of Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Khawateen Markaz, Yasmeen Raja, in a statement in Srinagar demanded immediate release of all Kashmiri detainees including Hurriyat leaders and activists lodged in different jails to save them from getting affected from coronavirus.

Indian police personnel are harassing the already besieged and oppressed people of the territory in the name of measures to prevent spread of coronavirus. A video is making rounds on social networking sites showing an Indian policeman in Sopore area of Baramulla district abusing the residents and warning them of consequences if they ventured out of their homes.

Meanwhile, Indian troops arrested two youth, Showkat Mir and Showkat Yattoo, during vehicle checking in Pattan town of Baramulla district, today. The troops labeled the youth as over-ground workers of mujahideen.

Seven more coronavirus cases were reported in the Kashmir Valley, today, raising the number of the people affected with the disease in the occupied territory to 40. One of the affected persons has died so far. The Indian police have so far registered 329 FIRs against people on the charges of violating lockdown orders enforced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

APHC-AJK leader and Vice President of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Mehmood Ahmed Saghar, in a statement issued in Islamabad appealed to the justice-loving people of the world to raise their voice against the continued illegal detention of party Chairman, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, and other Kashmiri detainees.

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