IOK simmers with anger as lockdown continues on 123rd day
SRINAGAR (KMS) – In Occupied Kashmir, the Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu and Ladakh regions continue to simmer with anger as military lockdown has entered 123rd running day on Thursday.
Restrictions under section 144 remain enforced amid huge presence of Indian troops. Over eight million residents of the Valley are particularly bearing the brunt of the lockdown. Internet services, prepaid mobile phones and SMS remain snapped in the occupied territory.
The continued absence of Internet service has cut off people not only from their surroundings but also from the world. It has also badly affected businesses, education of students and working of journalists.
People in the Kashmir Valley are showing defiance and resentment against India’s anti-Kashmir moves by observing civil disobedience. As part of this movement, the people keep their businesses shut and stay away from schools and offices. Shops only open for few hours in the morning and evening. Public transport also remains off the roads to a large extent.
On the other hand, CIVICUS Monitor, an international alliance of civil society organisations, has downgraded India’s civic space rating from ‘obstructed’ to ‘repressed’.
Civicus Monitor, in its new People Power Under Attack 2019 report, expressed extreme concern about the crackdown on human rights activists, attacks on journalists and civil society groups, and the lockdown in occupied Kashmir. A repressed rating indicates that democratic freedoms such as the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association are significantly constrained.