SRINAGAR: Indian occupied Kashmir remains under strict military siege on the 46th consecutive day with more than 10 million people cut off from the entire world under Modi regime, which had on Aug. 5 unilaterally abrogated articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution via a rushed presidential decree, stripping Kashmiris of their special rights.
According to Kashmir Media Service, the humanitarian crisis has worsened as Pakistan awaits resolution of Kashmir dispute with India under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
Forcefully tightening its grip on the Himalayan region, India has been violating basic human rights and freedom of speech and expression, including curbs on religious rituals and activities, fearing that these gatherings could turn into anti-India demonstrations.
India has restricted Muslims from offering Juma prayers at Srinagar’s historic Jamia Masjid and other big mosques of the valley.
Indian troops have been using pellet guns, canes and teargas shells on the rallies, injuring dozens of protesters so far.
Communications’ blackout, internet and mobile services’ suspension, closure of TV channels and stringent curfew have brought life to a standstill with all markets closed and public transport off the roads since August 5.
Around 50,000 public transport vehicles are grounded while train service is suspended for more than a month.
Over 10,000 Kashmiris and hundreds of political leaders and workers, including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai continue to remain under house arrest or jails.
UN chief calls for respect for human rights
Yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the need for respecting human rights in Indian occupied Kashmir, and urged both India and Pakistan to find a solution to the grave crisis through dialogue.
Responding to a question from a Pakistani journalist at his crowded press conference, marking the start of the General Assembly’s 74th session, he said he would continue to advocate for the peaceful settlement of the decades-old Kashmir dispute.
Gilani prevented from holding press conference
The occupation authorities in IoK restricted All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Gilani from holding a press conference at his residence in Srinagar on Thursday.
The suspension of communication services implies that Mr Gilani had invited the media persons and journalists through letters. However, when the media approached his home, Indian policemen, who have been deployed there, denied entrance and asked them to leave the place. Syed Ali Gilani has been put under house arrest since 2010.
The reporters and photographers, who reached the venue around 10.30 am, were asked to disperse from the locality immediately as the police cited imposition of Section 144 in the area.
“You are in violation of Section 144. We cannot allow media personnel to enter the residence or wait in areas nearby,” said a police officer posted outside Syed Ali Gilani’s residence in Hyderpora locality of Srinagar. When told that curfew passes issued by the administration allowed media personnel to remain in the area, the officer said, “Specific directions have been issued by the district magistrate for areas such as Hyderpora.”
The Indian police said it would investigate how Syed Ali Gilani managed to send the email invite amid complete internet shutdown in the territory. “We will look into the matter,” said an Indian officer when the media persons told them about the press invite they had received.