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  • Kashmiri women shout slogans at a protest after Friday prayers during restrictions after the Indian government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 16, 2019.

    Kashmiri women shout slogans at a protest after Friday prayers during restrictions after the Indian government scrapped the special constitutional status for Kashmir, in Srinagar August 16, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 August 2019

In the past 24 hours, there has been a series of protests against New Delhi’s Aug. 5 revocation of Jammu and Kashmir state’s autonomy.

Indian authorities reimposed restrictions on movement in major parts of Occupied Kashmir’s biggest city, Srinagar, Sunday after violent overnight clashes between residents and police in which dozens were injured, two senior officials and eyewitnesses said.

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They also reversed a decision to allow internet and mobile phone use in parts of the Jammu region, according to one official, amid concerns about the spread of rumors online.

In the past 24 hours, there has been a series of protests against New Delhi’s Aug. 5 revocation of Jammu and Kashmir state’s autonomy. This followed an easing in curbs on movement and phone use Saturday morning.

The government has said that it has not imposed a curfew over the past two weeks, but Sunday people were being turned back at multiple roadblocks set up in the city in the past few hours. Security forces at some roadblocks have told residents there is a curfew.

One of the official sources said that people pelted security forces with stones in around two dozen places across Srinagar. He said that the intensity of the stone-pelting protests has increased over the past few days.

The heavy overnight clashes took place mostly in Rainawari, Nowhetta and Gojwara areas of the old city where Indian troops fired tear smoke, chili grenades, and pellets to disperse protesters, eyewitnesses and officials said.

Chili grenades contain very spicy chili pepper and produce a major eye and skin irritant, as well as a pungent smell when they are unleashed.

Telephone landlines were restored in parts of the city Saturday after a 12-day blackout, and remained open Sunday. The state government has said that most telephone exchanges in the region would start working by Sunday evening.

The internet and cell phones remain blocked in Kashmir.

More than 4000 people were arrested, and some have been flown to prisons outside the state as state prisons our out of capacity. 

For 30 years, Occupied Kashmir is fighting for its independence in which at least 50,000 people have been killed. Critics say the decision to revoke autonomy will cause further alienation and fuel the armed resistance.

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