India’s Independence Day preparations held in Kashmir amid tight security

Indian authorities need more time to restore order in Kashmir, a Supreme Court justice said on Tuesday (August 13) as a security clampdown entered a ninth day since New Delhi revoked the region's special status, triggering protests.

The court is hearing an activist’s petition seeking to lift curbs on communications and movement that have disrupted normal life and essential services in the Himalayan region.

The court announcement came as preparations were in full swing to celebrate India’s Independence Day on August 15.

A security clampdown entered a ninth day since New Delhi revoked the region’s special status, triggering protests.

Telephone lines, internet and television networks have been blocked since Aug. 5 when India withdrew Jammu and Kashmir state’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.

Restrictions on movement and assembly, including a ban on gatherings of more than four people, were tightly enforced in the region’s main city of Srinagar on Tuesday.

Restrictions were lifted in five districts of Jammu on Monday (August 12), and relaxed in nine Kashmir districts, the home ministry said.

Still, it said there would be heightened security for Pakistan’s Independence Day on Wednesday (August 14) followed by India’s the next day and then Muslim Friday prayers.

(Production: Sarah Duffy)

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