Indian-controlled Kashmir under strict lockdown for 9th day - GulfToday

Indian-controlled Kashmir under strict lockdown for 9th day

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Security personnel stop an auto-rickshaw for questioning at a roadblock during a lockdown in Srinagar on Monday. Tauseef Mustafa/ AFP

An unprecedented security lockdown is keeping people in Indian-administered Kashmir indoors for a ninth day on Tuesday.

Indian troops patrolling the disputed region had allowed some Muslims to walk to mosques to mark the Eid al-Adha festival on Monday and shops had been opened briefly on previous days.

But residents were running short of essentials under the near-constant curfew and communications blackout as India tried to stave off a violent reaction to the government's decision Aug.5 to strip Kashmir of its autonomy.

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Security personnel stop Muslims for questioning during a lockdown in Srinagar on Monday.

Witnesses described hundreds of people chanting “We want freedom” and “Go India, go back” during a brief protest on Monday. Officials said the protest ended peacefully.

The lockdown is expected to last at least through Thursday, India's independence day.

Kashmiris fear India's moves bringing the region under greater New Delhi control will alter its demographics and cultural identity.

India said its decisions to revoke Kashmir's special constitutional status and downgrade it from statehood to a territory would free it from separatism.

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Kashmiris attend a protest after the Eid-al-Adha prayers at a mosque in Srinagar


India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir and have fought two wars over it. The first one ended in 1948 with the region divided between them and a promise of a UN-sponsored referendum on its future. It has never been held.

Islamabad has denounced the changes as illegal and in response has downgraded its diplomatic ties with New Delhi, expelled the Indian ambassador and suspended trade and train services with India.

Associated Press