Humanitarian crisis worsens as curfew enters 162nd day in occupied Kashmir

Humanitarian crisis worsens as curfew enters 162nd day in occupied Kashmir
Srinagar: Military lockdown and restrictions continue on 162nd consecutive day today in occupied Kashmir following the August 5 Indian illegal decision to abrogate special status of the held valley.

According to Kashmir Media Service, restrictions under Section 144 remain enforced and residents continue to suffer immensely due to suspension of internet across all platforms, SMS and prepaid cellular services.

As a mark of silent protest, people in the Valley continue to keep their shops closed except for a brief period in the morning and evening and stay away from schools and offices. Public transport is also unavailable.

The clampdown has not only affected inter-district road connectivity drastically but has also thrown great challenges for old city residents due to the shutting of factories, industries, and other workplaces.

The residents of Kashmir valley are facing severe hardships due to shortage of essential commodities due to continued blockade and fast approaching winter. The opening of Jamia Masjid is considered to be the absolute parameter of normalcy, but it has not seen any Friday gathering for the past 159 days.

According to a report, Indian brutalities in held Kashmir continue for the fourth consecutive month. More than 8 million Kashmiris are facing media blackout and Indian miseries. Almost 894 children have been martyred in occupied Kashmir so far, while more than 177 thousand have been orphaned.

The occupation authorities continue to place almost all Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai under house arrest or in jails. Over 11,000 Kashmiris including resistance leaders, political activists and youth have been arrested.

On the other hand, a bill has been introduced in the US House of Representatives urging India to end curfew and communication blackout in the valley.

The bill has also called to end the restrictions and preserve religious freedom for all residents.

The bill moved by Pramila Jayapal stated that people across the United States maintain ties with family and friends in occupied Kashmir, and have reported difficulty contacting their loved ones since the communications blockade was imposed on August 5.

The bill also urged India to allow international human rights observers and journalists to visit occupied Kashmir.

It further asked India to swiftly release arbitrarily detained people in occupied Kashmir and refrain from conditioning the release of detained people on their willingness to sign bonds prohibiting any political activities and speeches.

On January 10, Indian Supreme Court ruled the communications blackout in occupied Kashmir as unconstitutional and ordered the government to review all restrictions, including suspension of internet service, in occupied Kashmir within a week.

The court ruled that shutting down internet in occupied Kashmir was unconstitutional.

The supreme court also directed the Indian government to make public all orders imposing a lockdown in Kashmir in August after the constitution’s Article 370 granting Kashmir special status was revoked.

An indefinite suspension of the internet is a violation of the country's telecoms rules, the court said, ordering authorities in occupied Kashmir to review all curbs in a week's time.