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Friday, October 18, 2019
SRINAGAR, Kashmir, Sep 23 2019 (IPS) - It is 50 days into the lockdown in Kashmir since roads were blocked off, schools shut, and internet and communication services stopped.
On Aug. 5, India’s federal government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a curfew in the Muslim-majority area after amending the law to revoke the partial autonomy and statehood of Jammu and Kashmir. Restrictions on movement were immediately placed through a curfew as internet and telecommunications were cut.
The government also decreed that people from other Indian states could buy land in the region and become permanent citizens here.
Local Muslims, who form 80 percent of Kashmir’s 8 million people, feared that through such a move, the Indian government was trying to change the demography of the region.
More than 4,000 people, including politicians of opposition groups, human rights activists and separatists have since been detained by the government.
Though the government claimed that it is making attempts to restore normalcy and open schools, the efforts elicited no positive response from people as parents refuse to send their children to school for fear of violence. In a tweet the YFK-International Kashmir Lobby Group, a non-governmental human rights organisation, stated that the region’s economy had been devastated because of the clampdown.
Tourism in the region has been badly hit ever since the imposition of curfew by the Indian government. Hotels have zero occupancy and tourist resorts are deserted.
— Kashmir Lobby Group (@KashmirLobby) September 22, 2019
The Indian-administered part of Kashmir has experienced increased violence since 1989 when militants stepped up armed resistance here.
Rights groups estimate that 100,000 people have since been killed, but Indian official records put the number at 47,000.
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