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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Lockdown in Heaven: Kashmir’s cry for help

India intensified surveillance in the valley to suppress the voices of Kashmiri ahead of abolishing its special status.

News Desk |

The residents of Indian Occupied Kashmir shared horrifying details of a lock-down in the valley, just a few days ahead of Indian parliament’s abhorrent decision of scrapping off Article 370.

Kashmir on Lock-down

Shocking details from Jammu and Kashmir emerged on social media with the Indian government exercising its full might in the region followed by a communication halt, deployment of additional troops in the region, the house arrest of political leaders, and the evacuation of tourists from the valley during the past weekend.

Perhaps the Indian government, anticipating the violent reactions in Jammu and Kashmir, is following its decision to abolish its special status and has sealed the valley and increased surveillance.

Thousands of tourists and students fled the valley on Saturday after the Indian government announced to leave the Jammu and Kashmir immediately.

Panic and chaos mounted as India undertook abnormal security measures in the valley. The Kashmiri residents called the world’s attention towards the increased lockdown in Kashmir in the past three days.

The Hurriyat leaders and local politicians released worrisome messages from their social media accounts raising their voices against the increased oppression from the forces in the valley. According to several journalists, the Kashmiris under siege are unaware of the government’s decision.

The Indian government had suspended its internet connections, landline facilities, and mobile services in the region to prevent anti-India demonstrations from being organized and stop the dissemination of news.

‘Kashmir Under Siege’ heavily trended on social media, where Twitter users and journalists informed the world about the strict conditions imposed on the movements of Kashmiris. Independent observers globally described it a gross violation of the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir as uncertainty loomed in the valley regarding the fate of millions of unarmed civilians residing in the valley.

Calls from Kashmir

Junaid Mattu, the mayor of Srinagar, tweeted that the people of Kashmir have endured “the unendurable” time and again and that they will continue to do so.

Infrastructure lawyer and activist Shehryar Khanum sent out a prayer for Kashmir while hoping that she and many like her will be remembered.

Read more: Modi’s BJP defies Indian Constitution – Scraps Kashmir’s ‘Special Status’

President Peoples Conference Sajad Lone tweeted; “Indian forces have detained him and people from his political party yet again. Detained yet again. First detained in Delhi. Then in Srinagar in 1990. Those detention centers were very harsh. Our workers are being sought by the police. My prayers with them. And hope they stay calm.”

Pilgrimage Suspended, Tourist Evacuated

Thousands of tourists and students fled the valley on Saturday after the Indian government announced to leave the Jammu and Kashmir immediately. The Indian government also called off the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage, which draws hundreds of thousands of Hindus each year. The pilgrimage continues for 45 days in which the Hindu Yatree stays in the Amarnath cave in Southern Kashmir.

The pilgrimage has been cancelled because of the scare. A huge security force had been guarding the route even before the alert. A second smaller pilgrimage, the Machail Mata Yatra in Jammu region was also cancelled Saturday.

The Indian government has admitted that 10,000 extra troops were sent to occupy Kashmir a week ago. Media reports on Friday revealed that further 25,000 soldiers had been ordered there.

Read more: UN & OIC Urge Restraint: Indian Human Rights Violations Condemned

“As per the order there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed,” a statement by a government official of Jammu and Kashmir, which is currently under the central rule.

The official did not give a specific number but said most of the 20,000 Hindu pilgrims and Indian tourists – and more than 200,000 laborers – were leaving the region.