Indian government’s imposition of stringent curfew in Kashmir, after the abrogation of articles 370 and 35A of its Constitution through a rushed presidential decree on Aug. 5, entered its 27th day on Saturday.
According to Kashmir Media Service, Indian forces are anticipated to conduct a major crackdown in Kashmir’s Soura region, where violent clashes had erupted between protesters and the Indian military. Protesters chanted slogans against New Delhi’s aggression and illegal moves in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.
Meanwhile, people are facing a severe shortage of food, medicines and other commodities because of the curfew and a communication blackout.
Markets and schools are still shut while all internet and communication services including landline phones, mobile, and TV channels are closed in Kashmir valley and districts of Jammu region. Local newspapers are offline while most of them failed to bring out their print editions.
Over 10,000 Kashmiris including hundreds of political leaders and workers like Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai continue to remain under house arrest or in jails.
Over 4,500 Kashmiris amongst more than 10,000 detained have been booked under draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA). Those detained under PSA include Hurriyat leaders, political workers, traders, lawyers, social activists, and young people.
Meanwhile, the curfew and communication blackout continues in valleys of Kashmir, Peer Panchal, and Chenab where people have experienced shortages of essential commodities.
Reports said, although a mobile network in the territory has been snapped since August 5 when the Indian government scrapped Article 370 of its Constitution, the Indian agencies are scanning messages and videos earlier shared in these groups.
Over 8,000 Kashmiris disappeared in custody
Indian troops subjected thousands of Kashmiris to custodial disappearance during the last 29 years and the families of the victims have no information about their whereabouts.
According to the data released by the Research Section of the Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, today, over 8,000 Kashmiris have vanished in Indian military or police custody after they were picked up by the security and paramilitary forces.
The report maintained that thousands of unnamed graves had been discovered in the territory and the human rights activists feared that these graves could hold the bodies of disappeared Kashmiris.
The impunity provided to the troops and police personnel through draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Disturbed Areas Act and Public Safety Act gave them the license to kill and harass the people and ransack their possession without being questioned and the tragedy is that the burden of proof lies with the victims.