Indian police tighten restrictions in occupied Kashmir after PM Imran's UNGA speech

Published September 28, 2019
A security personnel stands guard to block a road near closed shops while strict restrictions are imposed during a lockdown in Srinagar on Saturday. — AFP
A security personnel stands guard to block a road near closed shops while strict restrictions are imposed during a lockdown in Srinagar on Saturday. — AFP

Authorities in Indian-occupied Kashmir tightened restrictions on people's movements on Saturday to prevent possible protests following a speech by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, the premier warned of a bloodbath once India lifts its restrictions in Kashmir, which have been in force since it revoked the region's decades-old autonomy in August and detained thousands of people.

Soon after the speech, hundreds of Kashmiris came out of their homes, shouting slogans in support of Imran late on Friday night and calling for the independence of Kashmir.

Security personnel stop commuters on motorcycles as they stand guard to block a road while strict restrictions are imposed during a lockdown in Srinagar on Saturday. — AFP
Security personnel stop commuters on motorcycles as they stand guard to block a road while strict restrictions are imposed during a lockdown in Srinagar on Saturday. — AFP

On Saturday, police vans fitted with speakers made public announcements in some parts of Srinagar about movement restrictions, while additional troops were deployed to prevent protests, according to officials and two witnesses.

The troops also blocked access to the main business centre of Srinagar with razor wire.

“This was necessitated after protests across Srinagar city last night soon after Imran Khan's speech,” said a police official, who declined to be identified.

Two Indian officials said six Kashmiris and one Indian soldier had been killed in two separate incidents in the region.

Three fighters were killed in Ganderbal, about 19 kilometres north of Srinagar, according to one of the officials, who declined to be named. Another three were killed in Batote, located on the highway connecting Jammu and Srinagar, Indian defence spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said.

'Inhuman curfew'

India's crackdown as it revoked Kashmir's special status was accompanied by severe restrictions on movement, as well as disconnection of telephone services. Though New Delhi has eased some of the movement curbs, no prominent detainees have been freed and mobile and internet connections remain suspended.

While warning of the consequences of lifting what he described as an “inhuman curfew”, Prime Minister Imran demanded India do so and free all detainees.

In some areas in Kashmir — including the Soura region near Srinagar which has witnessed protests in the past against India's decision — people clashed with security forces by pelting stones on Friday night, forcing police to use tear gas to disperse them, said the Indian official.

Imran addressed the UN a day after the senior US diplomat for South Asia called for a lowering of rhetoric between India and Pakistan, while saying that Washington hoped to see rapid action by India to lift restrictions it has imposed in Kashmir and the release of detainees there.

Opinion

Police & prosecution
16 Jan 2021

Police & prosecution

Yasin Malik’s case is a revealing example of Modi’s political vendetta.
Changes in privacy policy
16 Jan 2021

Changes in privacy policy

It is indeed a blunder by WhatsApp to move towards a model that is less private than before.
A national dialogue?
15 Jan 2021

A national dialogue?

Fundamental reforms are needed to change the ‘system of spoils’, not save it.

Editorial

16 Jan 2021

Gas liberalisation

AFTER drawing much criticism from both consumers and the opposition over its mismanagement of the energy sector that...
16 Jan 2021

Osama Satti inquiry

THE findings of the judicial inquiry into the Jan 2 killing of 21-year-old Osama Satti in Islamabad merely confirms...
Updated 16 Jan 2021

British MP on IHK

DESPITE sustained efforts by New Delhi’s rulers to remove India-held Kashmir from the global discourse, people of...
Updated 15 Jan 2021

Trump’s impeachment

The impeachment move may well remain symbolic in nature; even then, the symbolism itself is a potent one.
15 Jan 2021

Economic growth

MOODY’S Investors Service expects Pakistan’s economy to grow by a modest 1.5pc in FY2021, much higher than the...
15 Jan 2021

Madressah students

GETTING students of madressahs involved in politics is a bad idea, primarily because seminarians should be...