India tightens restrictions in Kashmir

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photo by INP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SRINAGAR, Sep 30, 2019, Reuters, AP. The authorities in Indian Kashmir tightened restrictions on people’s movements to prevent possible protests following a speech by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, reported The Straits Times.

In an address to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, Mr Khan warned of a bloodbath once India lifts its restrictions in Kashmir, which have been in force since it revoked the region’s decades-old autonomy last month and detained thousands of people.

Soon after the speech, hundreds of Kashmiris came out of their homes, shouting slogans in support of Mr Khan late on Friday night and calling for the independence of Kashmir.

Muslim-majority Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars over the divided territory. Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full.

Yesterday, police vans fitted with speakers made public announcements in some parts of Srinagar about movement restrictions, while additional troops were deployed to prevent protests, according to officials and two witnesses.

The troops also blocked access to the main business centre of Srinagar with razor wire.

Six militants and one Indian soldier had been killed in two separate incidents in the state, two officials said.

India’s crackdown as it revoked Kashmir’s special status was accompanied by severe restrictions on movement, as well as disconnection of telephone services.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has defended the Kashmir changes as freeing the territory from separatism. His supporters have welcomed the move.

At the UN on Friday, Mr Modi broadly denounced terrorism but avoided any direct mention of Kashmir.

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