Subdued Eid in Jammu and Kashmir amid clampdown by India

14th Aug 2019
Subdued Eid in Jammu and Kashmir amid clampdown by India

By Shuriah Niazi

 

New Delhi (AA): Low-key Eid prayers were reported in India administered Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, as authorities kept strict vigil. UK is still refusing to condemn the clampdown by Indian Government with hundreds of people arrested, many Kashmiris injured by Indian troops, mosques closed down.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Spokesperson gave the oft repeated government policy on Kashmir: “India and Pakistan should find lasting political resolution on Kashmir taking into account wishes of Kashmiri people.”

Prayers were offered in some small mosques, as the region continued in lockdown, since Indian government repealed a special constitutional provision granting special status. All communications in the province remained cut off for the eighth day.

Prayers were not allowed at major mosques in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Large gatherings stayed banned across the Kashmir Valley, according to media reports from the state. Large number of Imams were locked up to prevent them from leading prayers.

Many Muslims refused to celebrate Eid as they did not want to celebrate when all their rights were taken away by the Indian Government. They could neither visit their family members nor communicate with them due to curfew and shutting down of all communications.

“On Eid day clampdown was worse than before,” reporter for France 24 said from Delhi. She had just returned from Srinagar. “In the morning of Eid no movement of people were allowed in the city,” she said.

Kashmiris were angry as they felt betrayed as Article 370 was revoked which was “the only bridge to India now burnt”. They were angrier by the reporting of the Indian national media which gave incorrect accounts of what was happening in Indian Administered Kashmir.

People had to walk 20km with luggage from the airport for hours as no taxis were available due to the clampdown she reported.

Journalists movements are restricted. Indian forces have made many no go zones for the journalists. They have to get permission if they want to move from one neighbourhood to another.

A government statement said that some reasonable restrictions were imposed to foil designs of terrorists, militants and mischievous elements, out to disturb public order and peace.

“People gathered in large numbers at local mosques to offer prayers and greet each other,” the statement claimed.

It further said that there were some minor localized protests of a routine nature, which is not unknown in Jammu and Kashmir.

“There have been some isolated incidents of stone pelting, again at an insignificant level. Police handled these locally and dispersed the protesters. There are no major injuries barring one or two individuals,” the statement further said.

Indian Home Ministry also claimed in a tweet that prayers went off peacefully in Kashmir. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval stationed in the region, visited many parts of Srinagar city, to assess the situation on ground.

However, former leader of the Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi, gave an emergency press conference on Saturday, said news emanating from Jammu and Kashmir is that “things are going very wrong & reports of violence & people dying in J&K were being reported.”

Countering government claim, a former top official, now an independent politician Shah Faesal described the situation unprecedentedly abnormal.

“There is no Eid. Kashmiris across the world are mourning against the illegal annexation of their land,” tweeted Shah Faesal.

He said there would not be any celebrations, till people in Kashmir do not get back, what was stolen from them.

Meanwhile, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized former Indian Home Minister P. Chidambaram for his remarks that the special provision was revoked, because Kashmir was a Muslim-dominated region. Chidambaram, who is also a senior opposition Congress party leader. said the government would not have touched the provision, if Kashmir was a Hindu majority province.

The lone Muslim minister in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi charged the former minister for give a communal color to the decision. “What he has said is an attempt to give communal color to the issue, even though the decision is in national interest.”

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Photo: Indian paramilitary soldiers patrol on a street during a curfew in Srinagar, Kashmir, India on August 09, 2019.Photographer: Faisal Khan/AA]

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