Protests remain constant despite the curfew, movement restrictions, severe curtailment of the internet, and thousands of troops in the region.
An average of about 20 protests per day against Indian rule have taken place in Occupied Kashmir in the last six weeks despite a security lockdown imposed by India to put down the unrest, according to a senior government source who informed AFP Saturday.
Tensions are still at their highest level in the Muslim-majority region after New Delhi's decision last month to end the territory's decades-old constitutional and special status. The decision constituted the most radical move in 70 years of conflict.
Protests and demonstrations against India mostly carried out in the largest city of Srinagar have remained constant despite the curfew, movement restrictions, severe curtailment of internet and mobile phone services, and the thousands of additional troops sent to the region, the source said.
There have been 722 protests in total since the beginning of the crisis on Aug. 5, with Baramulla district in the northwest and Pulwama in the south the biggest hotspots after Srinagar.
Since that date, around 200 civilians and 415 security force members have been injured, while more than 4,100 people, including 170 local political leaders have been detained across the valley, with 3,000 released in the past two weeks, the official sourced said.
So far, Indian authorities have been repeating that outbreaks of violence were inconsequential and that “only” five civilians died since the clampdown began.
These updates come as Indian authorities said Thursday that three men suspected of belonging to a Pakistan-based militant organization were arrested while conveying weapons and ammunition towards Indian Kashmir.
The genesis of Kashmir issue can be traced back to 1947, the year India ‘won’ independence from the two-centuries-long British colonialism.
The King of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh, a Hindu ruler in the Muslim majority valley, dreamt of ruling Kashmir independently while more than 500 princely states were banded together by the British to form the present-day geopolitical territory known as India.
Hari Singh’s father bought Kashmir from the British in 1846 which chose not to accede with India. Nonetheless, this was shattered by the entrance of Pakistani troops into Kashmir in October of that year.
Realizing his impending doom, the fleeing king requested military help from India and in return acceded the valley into Indian territory on Oct. 26, 1947, despite opposition from its population.
On Oct. 27, 1947, in the early morning hours, the Indian army landed in Kashmir. Their ascendance became the catalyst of the movement for ‘Azadi’ (freedom).