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  • Indian Occupied Kashmir is witnessing escalation in conflict as more army deployed in the region.

    Indian Occupied Kashmir is witnessing escalation in conflict as more army deployed in the region. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 August 2019

The Indian government said it sent 100,000 extra troops to Kashmir where more than 500,000 troops were already stationed. It sent additional 25,000 troops Friday. 

The conflict between India and its occupied territory of Kashmir has escalated over last few days as the local Indian officials asked all tourists to leave the place, shut down schools and colleges, and deployed more army citing terror threats. 

ANALYSIS:

From Mass Rapes to Half-Widows: Kashmiri Women Under Occupation

Indian security officials said Friday they had found evidence of attacks planned by what they said were Pakistani military-backed militants on a major Hindu pilgrimage in Muslim-majority Kashmir.

However, the locals are worried that India is taking measures to terminate Kashmir’s special status guaranteed by the Indian constitution

The right-wing Hindu Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) have spoken against Article 35A of Indian Constitution which prevents non-Kashmiris from buying properties or applying for government jobs in Kashmir. 

"It seems they want to choke all the space here and oppress people more. They do not care about people. They are only worried about the land and its resources," said Nusrat Qadir, a 25-year-old student.

A senior local government official in Kashmir said the advisory had caused panic and led to the departure of "thousands" of tourists, pilgrims, and workers.

The official did not give a specific number, but he said most of the 20,000 Hindu pilgrims and Indian tourists and the more than 200,000 laborers were leaving the region.

Tourism is bound to suffer as tensions rise. "All of a sudden tourists left ... I have no work for the last two days. We are up for bad times," said Abdul Rashid Shah, 53, a boatman at the Dal Lake.

Kashmiris, anticipating the worst, started stocking up on essentials and there were long queues outside petrol pumps, ATMs and medical shops in Srinagar city, the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir state.

The Indian government said it sent 100,000 extra troops to Kashmir where more than 500,000 troops were already stationed. It sent additional 25,000 troops Friday. 

An all-party meeting between local political parties of Kashmir was held Sunday where the local leaders decided to oppose India if they try to abrogate Articles 35A and 370 of the Indian constitution. 

“We had made an effort to tell the people of the country & govt of what could be the consequence if they toy with Article 35A, 370. We made an appeal too, but no assurance has been given yet by the Centre,” former Chief Minister of Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti said after the meeting. 

Kashmiris on Twitter started a viral hashtag #KashmirBleeds which is one of the top trends in India and the number one trend in Pakistan. 

Reports on local media said India and Pakistan exchanging fire, violating ceasefire at the Line of Control (LoC). LoC is the line where both India and Pakistan decided to stop warring over the land of Kashmir in 1972, each keeping a slice and declaring a ceasefire. 

The Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) condemned civilian casualty due to the violation of the ceasefire. ​​​​​​​

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday that tension in Kashmir has the potential to blow up into a regional crisis and it is the right time for U.S. President Donald Trump to mediate

Khan's comments come a day after Pakistan accused India of using illegal cluster bombs, killing two civilians and wounding 11 in Kashmir. India denied it had used such weapons.

Imran Khan also called for a meeting of the National Security Committee on Sunday.

“Pakistan remains ready to defend itself against any Indian misadventure or aggression & will continue to provide all out diplomatic, moral & political support to the brave people of IOJ&K [Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir] in their indigenous struggle to get justice and their right to self-determination,” Khan’s ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) wrote on Twitter after the meeting. ​​​​​​​

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