On August 5, 2019, The Narendra Modi led government revoked Article 370 from Kashmir that guaranteed special status and statehood to the region. Now a year after the controversial decision, the government has imposed a two-day curfew in Srinagar to mark the event.
Officials announced a two-day “full curfew” on Monday citing intelligence reports of looming protests in the Muslim-majority region of seven million people, where locals have called for the anniversary to be marked as a “black day”.
Police vehicles patrolled the main city of Srinagar after dark on Monday and again on Tuesday morning. New razor-wire and steel barricades were placed on main roads on Srinagar. Thousands of government troops fanned across the city and surrounding villages to prevent law and order situations.
While the Kashmir authorities defended the decision to hold a curfew, many in the region took it as another hit to their constitutional freedom.
“A series of inputs have been received suggesting that separatist and Pakistan-sponsored groups are planning to observe August 5 as Black Day and violent action or protests are not ruled out,” Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, a civil administrator, said.
Meenakshi Ganguly from Human Rights Watch in a statement said, “Indian government claims that it was determined to improve Kashmiri lives ring hollow one year after the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s constitutional status. The authorities instead have maintained stifling restraints on Kashmiris in violation of their basic rights.”
A year into the revocation of Kashmir’s special status, the Supreme Court of India has yet to hear the urgent issue of the constitutionality of the J&K Reorganisation Act. Among them is a string of other petitions relating to the detentions of various leaders, the withdrawal of 4G services, and the misuse of other draconian legislation against common Kashmiri youths.
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