South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Curfew-in-IHKThe Indian government’s imposition of stringent curfew in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), after abrogation of articles 370 and 35-A of its constitution through a rushed presidential decree on August 5, entered its 28th day on Sunday.


According to Kashmir Media Service, Indian occupation forces are being anticipated to conduct a major crackdown in Kashmir’s Soura region, where violent clashes had erupted between protesters chanting slogans against New Delhi’s aggression and illegal moves in the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

Kashmir has been an epicentre of wars between Pakistan and India for several decades since the partition of the subcontinent in 1947 after getting independence from the British rule. Speaking on a condition of anonymity, a top Indian police official told the media that the Indian Army was preparing an operation in the area where frequent demonstrations were held on the call of local leaders resisting Indian occupation.

Meanwhile, people are facing severe shortage of food, medicines and other commodities due to unabated curfew and communication blockade. Markets and schools are still shut, while all Internet and communication services, including landline phone, mobile and TV channels, are closed in Kashmir valley and districts of Jammu region. Local newspapers are offline while most of them failed to bring out their print editions.

Over 10,000 Kashmiris and hundreds of political leaders and workers, including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Ashraf Sehrai, continue to remain under house arrest or in jails.

Over 4,500 Kashmiris amongst more than 10,000 detained have been booked under draconian law, Public Safety Act (PSA). Those detained under PSA include Hurriyat leaders, political workers, traders, lawyers, social activists and youth.

Principal Secretary of occupied Kashmir, Rohit Kansal, confirmed to media that over 4,500 people have been arrested under the PSA. The law allows the authorities to keep anyone under detention for up to two years without trial.

Meanwhile, the curfew and communication blackout continue in valleys of Kashmir, Peer Panchal and Chenab where people have been undergoing acute shortage of essential commodities. In Occupied Kashmir, after getting a number of Twitter accounts blocked, the Indian agencies are scanning over 3,500 Facebook pages.

Reports said that although mobile network in the territory has been snapped since August 5, the Indian agencies are scanning messages and videos earlier shared in those groups. On August 12, the Indian government had written to Twitter to block some accounts after the abrogation of Article 370.

Following written complaint by the government, the micro-blogging site had suspended some Twitter handles.

Indian troops in their unabated state terrorism subjected thousands of Kashmiris to custodial disappearance during the last 29 years and the families of the victims have no information about their whereabouts.

According to data released by the Research Section of the Kashmir Media Service on the occasion of the International Day of Disappeared, over 8,000 Kashmiris have vanished in the custody after they were picked up by the Indian troops, police and paramilitary forces.

The report maintained that thousands of unnamed graves had been discovered in the territory and the human rights activists feared that these graves could be of the disappeared Kashmiris. Meanwhile, Kashmiri journalist and author Gowhar Geelani was barred by Indian officials from flying abroad, apparently in light of the situation in Occupied Kashmir, media reported on Sunday.

Geelani, who recently rejoined German news agency Deutsche Welle as an editor, was going to attend an eight-day conference in Bonn. According to The Wire, he was stopped at the immigration desk of Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi for more than an hour before being denied permission to travel abroad. According to The Indian Express, Geelani was detained “based on a request by the Intelligence Bureau”.


Updated On: SEPTEMBER 2, 2019