SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Troops in Indian-administered Kashmir allowed some Muslims to stroll to native mosques alone or in pairs to mark the Eid al-Adha pageant Monday on the eighth day of an unprecedented safety lockdown imposed as India stripped the disputed area of its autonomy.
Hundreds of further troops had been despatched to the mostly-Muslim area earlier than India’s Hindu nationalist-led authorities stated Aug. 5 it was revoking Kashmir’s particular constitutional standing and downgrading its statehood. All communications and the web remained reduce off to restrict protests in opposition to the choice within the Himalayan area the place most individuals oppose Indian rule. Streets had been abandoned, with most individuals staying indoors and authorities not permitting massive teams to assemble.
“Our hearts are on fire,” stated Habibullah Bhat, 75, who stated he got here out to wish on the Islamic holy day regardless of his failing well being. “India has thrown us into the dark ages, but God is on our side and our resistance will win.”
Lots of of worshippers gathered on a Srinagar road after the prayers and chanted, “We want freedom” and “Go India, go back,” witnesses stated. Officers stated the protest ended peacefully.
Elsewhere, two individuals had been injured in violence, senior police officer S.P. Pani stated. He didn’t give any particulars.
There have been “no reports of starvation” and medical amenities, utilities and banking providers had been functioning usually, he stated.
The near-constant curfew and the communications blackout meant impartial verification of occasions was tough, particularly past the area’s major metropolis of Srinagar.
Kashmiris are accustomed to stockpiling necessities in the course of the area’s harsh winters, and through previous, much less extreme crackdowns. However in Srinagar, residents have begun to run wanting meals, pharmaceuticals and different requirements as retailers stay closed and motion is restricted. Mother and father have struggled to entertain their kids who’re unable to go to highschool.
Vijay Keshav Gokhale, the ministry’s high diplomat, stated communications restrictions “will be gradually eased when we feel the law and order situation improves.” He stated most mosques opened for Eid prayers, however some weren’t for safety causes.
The lockdown is anticipated to final by means of Thursday, India’s independence day.
Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan however claimed in full by each. The nuclear neighbors and bitter rivals have fought two wars over Kashmir, and the primary one resulted in 1948 with a promise of a U.N.-sponsored referendum within the territory. It has by no means been held.
Rebels have been combating Indian rule for many years within the portion administered by New Delhi.
Pakistan International Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and opposition chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed help for individuals within the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir to have self-determination. Each visited the Pakistani-controlled portion of Kashmir for Eid.
Qureshi urged the worldwide neighborhood to take discover of “Indian atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir.” He stated Islamabad was attempting its finest to spotlight the problem internationally and expose Indian “cruelties.”
Related Press writers Ashok Sharma and Emily Schmall in New Delhi and Roshan Mughal in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.
REAL LIFE. REAL NEWS. REAL VOICES.
Assist us inform extra of the tales that matter from voices that too typically stay unheard.