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US senator blocked by India from visiting occupied Kashmir

Senator of the United States Chris Van Hollen was refused this week to entr into Indian-occupied Kashmir during his trip to India, according to a report in American news publication The Washington Post.

Senator of the United States Chris Van Hollen is part of a group of Senators of US who have expressed their serious concern over the alarming situation of human rights in occupied Kashmir, which has been under a military curfew since August 5.

The constitutional autonomy of occupied Kashmir was revoked by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi two months ago and imposed a military curfew in the valley, imprisoning millions of Muslims.

The American publication informed that the Van Hollen had asked New Delhi to allow him to travel so that he could ascertain whether Indian government claims about the occupied area were grounded in reality.

Van Hollen was quoted as saying by The Washington Post “If the Indian government has nothing to hide, they should not worry about people visiting Kashmir and witnessing the situation with their own eyes”.

He added that “As the world’s two largest democracies, India and the United States “talk a lot about our shared values”. He added “I think this is a moment where transparency is important.”

In addition to the senator of US, even domestic political leaders in India are being denied permission to visit occupied Kashmir, where reports of food shortages and health issues are pouring in almost daily now.

Many congresspersons of US, including Indian-American and Muslim-American members, have expressed concern over the callous attitude of the Indian government to the plight of the oppressed people in Kashmir.

Some members of the European Parliament have even called for trade and travel sanctions on India to force New Delhi to soften the military curfew in the area and allowing international observers in.

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