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US urges India to release detainees, restore rights in IoK

US urges India to release detainees, restore rights in IoK
August 21, 2019
WASHINGTON (92 News) – The US urged India to quickly release detainees and restore basic rights in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK) to ease tensions between Pakistan and India. While speaking to the journalists in Washington, a senior US State Department official said, “We have long called for direct conversations between Pakistan and India to resolve issues.” “We continue to be very concerned by reports of detentions, and continued restrictions on the residents of the region,” he added. Expressing concern over human rights situation in IoK, he said India should move quickly to release detainees to restore basic freedoms and a return to normalcy. “We urge respect for individual rights, compliance with legal procedures and an inclusive dialogue,” said the official. It is worth mentioning here that tensions have been high since India revoked autonomous rule in the part of Kashmir it controls on August 5. Indian authorities imposed a communications blackout and heavy restrictions on movement from the eve of the intervention.
Curfew continues for 17th consecutive day in IoK
In Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK), curfew and other restrictions continue since August 5 when Narendra Modi government announced scraping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The entire occupied territory particularly the Kashmir has been turned into a military garrison as Indian troops and police personnel are deployed in every nook and corner. In Srinagar, thousands of troops and policemen are patrolling the deserted streets, lanes and by lanes to thwart any attempt of people to stage anti-India demonstrations. The authorities also continue to impose information blockade as TV channels and internet links remain snapped and restrictions on media continue since 5th August. Almost all Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continue to remain under house arrest or in jails. Thousands of other political leaders and workers including three puppet chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are detained over the past two weeks. Since August 4, an unprecedented communications blockade has been imposed in the region, cutting the region from the rest of the world and preventing contact within Kashmir and with the outside world for the 16th consecutive day today. Due to severe blockade, a famine-like situation is emerging as people are facing severe shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines.