Indian Kashmir, cut off from the world after New Delhi’s decision to abolish its autonomy status, was under high tension on Tuesday, with some residents reporting ubiquitous soldiers and demonstrations.
At least six people were injured during the demonstrations, which broke out after the presidential decree revoking the constitutional autonomy of the part of Kashmir that India controls and which Pakistan claims
A hospital in Srinagar, the main city of the territory, admitted six patients wounded in particular by bullets, was learned from a source of this establishment on condition of anonymity.
The Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir, located in the extreme north of the country, has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country: the authorities have suspended telephone and internet coverage upstream of the decision announced Monday by the government Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Public gatherings have also been banned.
Testimonies concerning the situation on the spot were collected from passengers arriving from Srinagar in New Delhi. A traveler who requested anonymity said he heard intermittent firing since Monday and shouts of soldiers during the night. Government troops are deployed “every two meters,” he added.
“My car was checked at least 25 times on the way to the airport and it took me almost four hours to cover a journey that usually takes just thirty minutes,” he told AFP.
Mubeen Masoodi, also just back from Srinagar, was at a wedding Sunday night when suddenly the guests noticed that their phones were no longer working.
- – “Arbitrary arrests” –
“We were eating around midnight when the phones were disconnected one after the other (…) and that’s when people realized that something bad was happening and hurried back home. them”.
Another passenger, Farooq Sheikh, told the Press Trust of India that he felt “prisoner in his own city”.
“The mobile network has been removed, the internet is suspended, and even the cable and landlines are no longer working, it feels like a cage or prisoner in our own home, our own city,” he said.
These testimonies came as a spokesman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Rupert Colville considered deeply disturbing the security stroke and the interruption of the means of communication.
“We are witnessing once again widespread restrictions on the means of communication, perhaps even more widespread than before, as well as arbitrary arrests of political leaders and restrictions on freedom of assembly,” he said. lamented Tuesday in Geneva in front of journalists.
New Delhi has withdrawn from Jammu and Kashmir its special status guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, which until now allowed it to legislate on all matters except defense, foreign affairs, and communications.
Pakistan, which claims this territory since partitioning with India in 1947, at the end of British colonization, denounced an “illegal” decision, while since 1989 the bloody rebellion in Kashmir under Indian control has cost more than 70,000 people, mainly civilians.
In anticipation of possible unrest, the Indian authorities had deployed over the last ten days over 80,000 additional paramilitaries in this area already highly militarized.
New Delhi denied reports of demonstrations and assured that the region had remained calm. “People have been very cooperative and there are no violent incidents,” state police chief Dilbagh Singh told Indian television.