SRINAGAR: In occupied Kashmir, over 500 political leaders and workers have been detained since India placed the territory under military siege ahead of announcing the revocation of the Kashmir-specific Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on Monday.
Almost all Hurriyat leaders including the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, and the Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, are under house arrest or in jails.
As per the latest reports, about 560 such workers have been lodged in makeshift detention centers in Srinagar, Baramulla, Gurez and other areas, as jails and police stations of the valley were overcrowded with hundreds of Hurriyat leaders and activists already booked under false charges.
Former puppet Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah were also placed under house arrest. There are reports of injuries to several people in troops’ firing on protesters in Soura area of Srinagar.
Meanwhile, amid strict curfew and other restrictions on the fourth consecutive day, today, an eerie silence prevails in Kashmir valley with concertina wire barricades laid on deserted streets and heavy deployment of Indian police and armed forces’ personnel. People are confined indoors due to stringent restrictions amid all the communication links of the territory with the outside world snapped by the authorities.
The authorities imposed section 144 in Kargil district of Ladakh region after forceful demonstrations against the India’s move to declare Ladakh a union territory. However, people defying restrictions came out of their houses and held protests in the district. The All Parties Action Committee Kargil, an amalgam of all political and religious organizations of the district, in a memorandum to the Indian President demanded restoration of the Article 370.
In Tehran, a protest demonstration was held outside Indian embassy to condemn the India’s latest sinister move against the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. A large number of Iranians and Kashmiri community members participated in the protest.
The Kashmir Council Europe also organized a protest camp at Place Schuman in front of EU’s External Actions Service in Brussels, today. The protest was aimed to condemn the Indian aggression in Kashmir.
On the other hand, the US news publication Foreign Policy in its report on the latest situation in occupied Kashmir writes that the lockdown and the media blackout have made it difficult for information to get out from the territory. It says that newspapers in Srinagar, the largest city in Kashmir, haven’t been published since Monday, while Kashmir has been turned invisible even inside Kashmir.