Wed. Jan 22nd, 2020



Article 370: Kashmiris express anger at loss of special status

1 min read


Indian-administered Kashmir has been in a state of lockdown ever since the government decided to strip the region of its special status, with mobile phone networks, landlines and internet access cut off. The BBC has been inside Jammu and Kashmir, to hear the voices of those most affected by the change.

Amid the furious debate over the legality and implications of the Indian government’s decision to revoke Article 370 – which gave the state of Jammu and Kashmir significant autonomy from the rest of the country – it seemed one key voice was missing. Those of the Kashmiris themselves.

In the days leading up to Monday’s parliamentary announcement, the state was swiftly locked down. Tens of thousands of troops were deployed to the region, and two of the state’s former chief ministers – Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah – were placed under house arrest.

With most forms of communication cut off, police officers in the region were given satellite phones. Nearly everyone else was effectively cut off from the rest of the country.

Now, shocked residents of the region are beginning to speak out – although many are still struggling to get a full picture of what is going on.

Rashid Alvi, who runs a medicine shop in Srinagar said that the heavy military presence had turned the region into an “open jail”.

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