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More difficulties for besieged IOK people as harshest winter begins

More difficulties for besieged IOK people as harshest winter begins
December 21, 2019
SRINAGAR (KMS) – In Occupied Kashmir, as the situation in the Kashmir Valley remains grim on 139th consecutive day, the besieged people have more difficulties in store as the Chilai Kalan, the 40-day harshest winter period commenced on Saturday. As per centuries-old practice, the residents usually used to stock essential commodities for the winter season as the Kashmir Valley remains cut off from the rest of the world due to closure of Srinagar-Jammu Highway, the only surface link of the territory with the outside world. However, this year, they could not do this due to unrelenting and persistent lockdown. Millions of people of the Valley continue to suffer immensely as they are already facing shortage of basic necessities including food and life-saving medicines awing to continued imposition of restrictions by Indian government since 5th August, this year. Amid deployment of hundreds of thousands of Indian troops, restrictions under Section 144 remain in place while prepaid mobile phone, text messaging and internet services continue to be snapped, causing enormous problems to the masses. Meanwhile, a federal government funding package passed by the US House of Representatives and the Senate has urged the Indian government to reverse its course in occupied Kashmir. “The bill (HR 1865) urges the Indian Government to reverse course in Kashmir,” Senator Chris Van Hollen said on the Senate floor as the Senators passed the appropriations bill for the year 2020. The bill is mostly focused on domestic policy but it also has some foreign policy elements including India.