Kashmir in lockdown for second day after India scraps special status

A communications blackout in disputed Kashmir entered a second day on Tuesday (August 6), after India snapped television, telephone and internet links to deter protests over its scrapping of special constitutional status for the Himalayan region.

Moving to tighten its grip on India’s only Muslim-majority region, the government dropped a constitutional provision for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which has long been a flashpoint in ties with neighbouring Pakistan, to make its own laws.

Hours before Monday’s (August 5) announcement, authorities in Kashmir, which is also claimed by Pakistan, clamped an unprecedented communications blackout on the region, arresting its leaders, including two former state chief ministers.

Armed police patrolled every few hundred metres in the city, where a ban on public gatherings of more than four people stayed in force on Tuesday. Educational institutions and most shops in residential neighbourhoods were shut.

With movement restricted and a curfew in place, some residents said they struggled to find necessities, like medicine.

Former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Farooq Abdullah strongly condemned the federal government’s decision.

(Production: Lucy Marks)

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