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India tightens Kashmir crackdown with curfew

September 8, 2019

Indian police have clashed with Shiite mourners at banned religious processions in Kashmir. Indian authorities have warned residents "not to venture out of their home" amid a tightening crackdown in the region.

An Indian police officer beats Kashmiri Shiite Muslims as they attempt to take out a religious procession during restrictions in Srinagar
Image: picture-alliance/AP/M. Khan

Indian authorities on Sunday imposed curfews in several parts of Kashmir amid a growing crackdown across the contested territory.

"People are advised to stay indoors and not venture out of their home," police announced over loudspeakers in the Lal Chowk square in Srinagar, the biggest city in the state. "Strict action under law will be taken against violators."

Authorities tightened restrictions in the area after police clashed with Shiite mourners during a banned religious procession.

"Reasonable restrictions are necessary for peace and protection of life," said Ajit Doval, India's national security adviser, late Saturday. He said restrictions would not be lifted until Pakistan stopped deploying "terrorists" to the area and accused Islamabad of fomenting unrest.

Meanwhile, some Sunni Muslims have said they would join a procession with Shiite mourners on Tuesday, the Ashura — a religious day marking the 10th day of Moharram, the first month of the Islamic year.

Read more: Kashmir lockdown hinders journalists from flying abroad

Indian policemen detain Kashmiri Shiite Muslims as they shout pro-freedom slogans
Some Kashmiri Shiite Muslims have vowed to resist Indian authorities as they attempt to observe religious traditionsImage: picture-alliance/AP/M. Khan


Last month, India withdrew Kashmir's special autonomous status by revoking Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. The controversial move triggered further unrest in Kashmir.

At the time, Srinagar residents told DW that the area had become a "garrison," with some saying: "We're not allowed to move out and all streets are filled with security personnel."

Critics have accused the Indian government of overstepping its powers by attempting to split Kashmir into two separate territories and changing inheritance rights for native Kashmiris.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from British colonial rule, two of which have centered on the disputed Kashmir region.

Since 1898, roughly 70,000 people have been killed in the course of Kashmiri uprisings against Indian rule.

Map showing contested territory Kashmir

Read more: Narendra Modi is undermining the 'idea of India'

ls/tj (Reuters, dpa)

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