India imposes harshest curfew in IOK

Wednesday – August 14, 2019
SRINAGAR (India): The Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK) is facing the worst humanitarian crisis in the modern human history as strict curfew along with all communication blackout entered its 9th day, on Tuesday.

According to Kashmir Media Service (KMS), Indian troops clamped tight restrictions across Jammu and Kashmir, fearing anti-India protests, after New Delhi abolished the special status of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.

The people of the IOK have no contact with the rest of the world as internet and phone lines are cut since then. A famine-like situation is emerging as tens of thousands of Indian troops are deployed in all streets right from Srinagar in the IOK Valley to Doda and Kishtwar areas in Jammu region to maintain strict curfew.

The news sources, in their reports said shops are shut, their shutters and walls are carrying anti-India graffiti including, “Go India Go Back” and “We Want Freedom”.

The sources quoting paramilitary police officials said the restrictions in Srinagar are the city’s tightest ever. The troops, many wearing heavy riot gear, are dotting silent streets where checkpoints had been added around midnight, with more concertina wire laid out to create barricades.

In blatant disregard for the basic rights of IOK people, Indian Supreme Court refused to pass any orders on a petition seeking lifting of curfew and communication blackout in IOK in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 by the Indian government.

The petition filed by an activist Tehseen Poonawalla submitted that people were not able to even avail basic services such as hospital. However, a three-judge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra adjourned the petition for two weeks without passing any order.

Meanwhile, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK), a political party active in Tamil Nadu and other states of India, has said that IOK will no longer remain with India in the next 30 years.

MDMK chief Vaiko in a media interview in Chennai said IOK will not be in India when Delhi will celebrate its 100th year of freedom.

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh referring to an international media report warned Indian prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi, home (interior) minister Amit Shah and national security advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval that IOK will slip out of India’s hands through their thoughtless actions.

Another Congress leader P Chidambaram said that Modi government abrogated Article 370 because there is a Muslim majority in IOK. Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Brinda Karat said that what the Indian government had done in IOK was nothing but the murder of democracy.

On Monday, In IOK people could not offer Eid prayers and slaughter sacrificial animals on Eid-ul-Azha, one of the biggest Muslim festivals, due to continued curfew and communication blackout on the 8th straight day.

The entire IOK including Doda and Kishtwar areas of Jammu region is facing a clampdown since last Monday when India unilaterally revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Announcements were made on loudspeakers and people were warned not to come out of their houses. An Indian television (TV) channel while reporting on IOK admitted that restrictions were so harsh that even a fly was not allowed to move.

All the mosques and the shrines including IOK’s largest mosque, Jamia Masjid Srinagar, were closed. The observers said that no such restrictions were witnessed in the occupied valley in the past.

Eid prayers were allowed only in a few small mosques located in peripheral areas of the IOK Valley. As the people finished prayers, they started anti-India protests, and the authorities immediately re-imposed curfew.

The web pages of all local newspapers could not be updated since that day and the internet as well as telephone lines remained suspended.

The political leadership including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai and former puppet chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are in house detention or in jails. Over 900 people have been arrested during the past one week.

Meanwhile, students from IOK enrolled at the Aligarh Muslim University boycotted a so-called feast organised by University Vice Chancellor on Eidul Azha as a mark of protest against the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.