Sunday 18 August 2019

Hundreds protest in Kashmir ahead of Eid

Kashmiri men shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui
Kashmiri men shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government. Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui

Danish Siddiqui

Hundreds of people protested in Kashmir's main city of Srinagar yesterday against India's decision to curb its autonomy, despite new restrictions on travel and a seventh straight day of communications blackout.

Restrictions that had been temporarily eased on Friday and Saturday - allowing some bakeries, pharmacies and fruit shops to open ahead of the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha - were reinstated in major parts of the city yesterday afternoon.

Police vans drove around some areas ordering people to shut up shops and to go home, and most streets were silent by evening, as thousands of troops kept vigil.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government locked down the Muslim- majority region last Sunday, cutting off communications, detaining more than 300 political leaders and activists, and putting a "virtual curfew" into force with numerous roadblocks stopping movement.

Seeking to tighten its grip on the region also claimed by neighbouring Pakistan, India announced last Monday that it was scrapping Jammu and Kashmir's right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.

Angry Kashmiris gathered at a mosque in Srinagar's Soura neighbourhood after afternoon prayers yesterday and began shouting anti-India slogans.

Irish Independent

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