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Indian forces tighten curfew to stop Kashmir protests

SRINAGAR: Indian forces tightened the curfew in Kashmir on Friday to prevent people from staging a protest. 

Hurriyat leaders had called a protest after Friday prayers and many people had decided to answer their call but Indian forces preempted their demonstration by barring them from offering their Friday prayers at all. This is the third week of the curfew in Indian-held Kashmir.

People planned to march towards the UN office in Srinagar’s Sonawar.

The curfew was imposed hours before India decided to repeal Article 370 of its constitution on August 5 and revoke the special status granted to Kashmir. It has been in place ever since.

The Indian government claims it has eased and life is getting back to normal in the valley but international media organisations such as the New York Times have proven its claims false.

In a report published on August 23, the NYT reported that India has carried out the “biggest mass arrests of civilian leaders in decades”.

According to the paper, at least 2,000 Kashmiris have been taken into custody shortly before and after the repeal. This includes business leaders, human rights defenders, elected representatives, teachers, and students as young as 14, it said.

“The Indian government isn’t sharing what charges the detainees face or how long they will be held. Some were reported to have been flown on secret air force flights to jails in Lucknow, Varanasi and Agra,” reported the publication.

The Kashmir Media Service reported that people have started constituting committees at street level to protect their mothers, sisters and daughters from “humiliation and molestation threats”. The move comes in the wake of derogatory remarks made by BJP leaders and other forces that their members could now “go to Kashmir, settle in the territory and marry Kashmiri women”.

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