India tightens curfew to prevent Kashmiris’ march on UN office in Srinagar

August 23, 2019

SRINAGAR: The Indian authorities tightened curfew and other restrictions to prevent people from holding a protest demonstration outside the UN office in Srinagar after Friday prayers against India’s provocative August 5 move and its illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir.

Security forces were deployed at strength in many places to maintain law and order amid unrest over India’s treatment of the region.

A call for the protest march was given by the resistance leaders through posters appearing in Srinagar and other parts of the occupied valley on Friday. “Preachers in all mosques [in their Friday prayers sermons] should make the people aware of India’s plans to change the demography of Jammu and Kashmir,” handbills written in Urdu said. The people were urged to join the march to convey to India and the world that the Kashmiris would not accept Indian occupation over their territory. The protest was also aimed at resisting the Indian attempt to change the demography of IOK by settling outsiders in the occupied territory.

On August 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government scrapped the autonomy of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region that has enjoyed special status in the Indian constitution since the country’s independence from Britain in 1947.

The move enraged Kashmiris and has sparked tensions with Pakistan, raising growing international concern over a flare-up in violence between the two nuclear-armed powers. Sporadic demonstrations have rocked some parts of Srinagar, with clashes between stone-throwing protesters and government forces leaving more than 100 injured.

Residents in the Muslim-majority region have complained of a stifling environment as well as the inability to get in touch with family and friends worried about their wellbeing.

Kashmir has waged a three-decade-long armed rebellion against Indian rule with tens of thousands of lives, mostly civilians, lost in the conflict. Monitoring Desk