The Indian government has revoked the special status of Indian-administered Kashmir in its constitution, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years.
A presidential decree issued on August 5 revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defence, communications and foreign affairs.
In the lead-up to the move, India sent thousands of additional troops to the disputed region, imposed a crippling curfew, shut down telecommunications and internet, and arrested political leaders.
The move has worsened the already-heightened tensions with neighbouring Pakistan, which said it would downgrade its diplomatic relations with India.
Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full but rule it in part. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought two of their three wars over the disputed territory.
Tuesday, August 13
India Supreme Court says Kashmir crackdown to continue
India‘s Supreme Court, which is reviewing a petition for the immediate withdrawal of severe government restrictions in Kashmir, has said that the security crackdown and communications blackout in the region should continue.
The bench said the situation in Kashmir was “sensitive” and that the government needed more time to tackle it.
“The situation is dynamic and changing every day,” Attorney General KK Venugopal said in the Supreme Court, according to legal reporting website Bar&Bench.
“We are reviewing the situation and lifting restrictions step by step,” he added. It was not clear how long the restrictions would continue, with Venugopal saying it could take days or months.
Kashmir security lockdown enters 9th day
An unprecedented security lockdown is keeping people in Indian-administered Kashmir indoors for a ninth day.
Residents were running short of essentials under the near-constant curfew and communications blackout.
The lockdown is expected to last at least through Thursday, India’s independence day.
Rights activists write open letter to Modi
An open letter signed by 69 human rights activists and organisations, lawyers, journalists and academics, addressed to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has raised concerns over the human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir under a crippling lockdown.
The letter called on Modi to immediately revoke the curfew, reinstate communication, release all those arbitrarily detained over the last few days, and restore the status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of India’s constitution, which granted the Muslim-majority state considerable autonomy.
Kashmir protests overshadow Eid festivities
Hundreds of protesters defied a security lockdown in Indian-administered Kashmir on the first day of the Eid al-Adha holiday, as they marched on the streets of capital, Srinagar.
The protests lasted for a few hours after Eid prayers, before demonstrators dispersed peacefully.
“For Muslims, there are two days which are festive and sacred, and that’s Eid … but this is not our Eid. We are just mourning in Kashmir,” a resident told Al Jazeera.
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