Kashmir authorities impose curfew to stop planned ‘black day’ protests


Authorities imposed a curfew in the Indian-administered Kashmir, in anticipation of protests marking the first anniversary of India’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status.

Officials say the security lockdown was imposed in the region because of information about protests planned by groups to mark Aug. 05 as “black day.”

They also invoked the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason for not allowing any public gatherings.

Reports say there is tension in the region ahead of the anniversary and more troops have been deployed.

Last year, the state was split into two federally-administered regions and its semi-autonomous status was revoked.

The decision to revoke article 370 by New Delhi – the part of the constitution that guaranteed Kashmir special status – was met with anger and betrayal in the region although it was widely welcomed in the rest of the country.

On its implementation, thousands were detained amid a curfew and a communications blackout, including the cutting of internet access was ordered.

The region witnessed protests and security forces often clashed with civilians. Thousands of activists and others were believed to have been picked up from their homes in the days that followed the surprise move.

However, due to the strict lockdown and the detention of thousands of people, including three former chief ministers of the state, protests against the move were largely controlled.

Jammu and Kashmir was India’s only Muslim-majority state and anti-India protests have been taking place in the region for decades.

It has long been one of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints and is a highly militarised area.

India and Pakistan both claim Kashmir in full, but control only parts of it.

The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two wars over Kashmir, most recently clashing in a series of aerial attacks over the territory in February last year. (Source: BBC)