India puts Kashmir under lockdown amid communication blackout

09:03 AM | 5 Aug, 2019
India puts Kashmir under lockdown amid communication blackout
SRINAGAR - Authorities in India-occupied Kashmir imposed an indefinite security lockdown before Sunday midnight, ordering thousands of visitors out of the region.

The occupying forces laid steel barricades and razor wire on roads and intersections to cut off neighborhoods in serene Srinagar and other towns in the Kashmir valley.

“As per the order there shall be no movement of public and all educational institutions shall also remain closed,” a government statement said and directed that public meetings and rallies were also being banned.

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In fresh aggression, Indian authorities also suspended internet services as well as a majority of mobile phone networks, stirring panic and chaos among the residents reeling under the brutality for decades.

Besides Hurriyet leadership, some Kashmiri leaders including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti were also put under house arrest in Srinagar, a move that drew criticism from top Indian politicians including Shashi Tharoor.

This comes amid India's deployment of at least 10,000 troops in the restive valley, with reports of a further 25,000 ordered to one of the world’s most militarised regions.

The latest developments have stirred fears that New Delhi was planning to scrap an Indian constitutional provision that forbids Indians from outside India-held Kashmir from buying land in the territory.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to chair a national security meeting today; Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a National Security Committee meeting yesterday and warned India of any aggression in the valley.

Syed Ali Geelani, a top Kashmiri leader also issued a statement late Sunday calling on Kashmiris to 'use unity and brotherhood to fight India’s aggression'.