Jammu and Kashmir: A disputed state under siege

Aug 23rd, 2019 | Category: Articles
  • India fears protest if the communication is restored and troops scaled down in Kashmir
  • Widespread anger over government’s revocation of Kashmir’s special status

It is more than two weeks since Indian-held Kashmir began facing curfews. Markets in major parts of the valley and Muslim regions of Jammu were shut, communication networks suspended, and people were even denied access to telephone networks.

New Delhi’s decision on August 5 to abrogate Article 370 of the constitution that gave the state autonomous status brought Kashmir to a standstill, with strict curfews and troops patrolling the valley.

On August 19, the local administration relaxed the curfew and allowed schools to reopen. It also restored some of the telephone landlines.

However, protests in parts of Srinagar and outside the city forced the government to reimpose the communication ban. The schools wear a deserted look even after four days of reopening.

People fear the uncertainty in the air.

Some reports suggest that people are also resorting to civil disobedience by not opening market stalls or sending their children to school.

There is  widespread anger and resentment among the people, with the overwhelming majority feeling let down by the government’s decision to strike down the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

They say that their identity has been attacked and it is not possible to live under such conditions.

The administration fears large scale protest and resistance if communication is restored and troop numbers are scaled down.
New Delhi fears that if violence breaks out, it will lose its political narrative both domestically and internationally.
Kashmir remains on edge.

It remains to be seen how long paramilitary forces will be able to contain the growing anger and angst among the local populace of the Muslim-majority region under Indian rule.

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