In occupied Kashmir, Muslim majority areas of Jammu region and valley continue to reel under military lockdown and communications blackout on the 64th consecutive day today.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the clampdown has virtually cut off the territory from the rest of the world for the past over two months. With the deployment of Indian forces in full riot gear in every nook and corner of the territory and widespread presence of barricades and razor wires, the Kashmir valley presents the look of an open air prison. The residents are facing shortage of essential commodities due to continued blockade.
All gates of Srinagar’s Grand Mosque remain closed for devotees. No prayers could be offered in the Masjid, including the Friday prayers due to restrictions during the past 64 days. Shops and business establishments and educational institutions are closed and public transport is off the roads.
Meanwhile, doctors at SMHS Hospital in Srinagar said that dozens of patients had died because they could not call an ambulance and reach hospital on time. They said that there had been a 50 per cent dip in the number of surgeries due to restrictions and drug shortages. The doctors said their work have been particularly hampered by the loss of mobile phone service.
In New Delhi, some 284 petitioners, including academics, journalists and political leaders petitioned the Indian prime minister and president on the current situation in occupied Kashmir, describing the current restrictions in the territory as “unacceptable”. They urged the Indian government to restore mobile and internet connections, which were declared a fundamental right recently by the Kerala High Court.
On the other hand, Thuingaleng Muivah, leader of India's oldest freedom organization in Nagaland, in a media interview said that he felt the Indian government's abrupt decision to strip Kashmir's special status was "unacceptable.