India to truck supplies in to Kashmir for Eid
Pakistan said that it will take up India’s actions in the territory with the United Nations Security Council
Authorities enforcing a strict curfew in Indian-administered Kashmir will bring in trucks of essential supplies for an Eid Al Adha, as the divided Himalayan region remains in a lockdown.
Pakistan said that with the support of China, it will take up India’s unilateral actions in Kashmir with the United Nations Security Council and may approach the UN Human Rights Commission over what it says is the “genocide” of the Kashmiri people.
Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan and is divided between the archrivals. Rebels have been fighting New Delhi’s rule for decades in the Indian-controlled portion, and most Kashmiri residents want either independence or a merger with Pakistan.
The indefinite 24-hour curfew was briefly eased on Friday for weekly Muslim prayers in some parts of Srinagar, the region’s main city, but thousands of residents are still forced to stay indoors with shops and most health clinics closed. All communications and the internet remain cut off.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured the people of Jammu and Kashmir, as the state is known, that normalcy would gradually return and that the government was ensuring that the current restrictions do not dampen Eid.
New Delhi rushed tens of thousands of additional soldiers to one of the world’s most militarised regions to prevent unrest and protests after Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government said Monday that it was revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrading its statehood. Modi said the move was necessary to free the region of “terrorism and separatism.”
The relaxing of the curfew in Srinagar was temporary, officials said. Friday prayers began at 12.37pm and lasted for about 20 minutes, followed by protests in some parts of the city. Police used tear gas and pellets to fight back the protesters who gathered in their largest numbers since authorities clamped down and detained more than 500 political and separatist leaders.
Other stone-throwing incidents were reported from the northern and southern parts of Kashmir.
Authorities were closely watching for any anti-India protests, which will determine a further easing of restrictions for the Eid holiday.
The region’s top administrative official, Baseer Khan, said that essential commodities including food, grains and meat will be delivered to different parts of the region by Sunday.
In the meantime, most residents have been waking up before dawn to get food and other supplies stockpiled by neighbourhood shopkeepers and pharmacists inside their homes. Shortly after dawn, police and paramilitary soldiers swiftly occupy the roads and streets as part of the restrictions on movement.
While some easing on the movement and opening of shops is expected around Eid, officials still held reservations about restoring mobile and internet services. Some relaxation of curbs on landline communication, however, could be considered, they said.
Updated: August 10, 2019 08:46 PM