India intensifies Kashmir crackdown as tensions rise

SRINAGAR, INDIA - AUGUST 12: Police barricade seen during curfew on Eid al-Adha, at Lal Chowk on August 12, 2019 in Srinagar, India. The festive buzz was missing in Kashmir on Monday with Eid prayers limited to neighbourhood mosques as authorities imposed strict controls and security forces fanned out across towns and villages, restricting the movement of people and prohibiting congregations in large grounds. Eid al-Adha comes days after the government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and was bifurcated into two Union Territories Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. (Photo by Waseem Andrabi/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
NEW DELHI, INDIA – MAY 10: 2019: Journalists seen outside the Supreme Court during the Ayodhya case hearing, at Supreme Court of India, on May 10, 2019 in (Photo by Amal KS/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

In yet another blow to the residents of Kashmir, India’s Supreme Court, which is reviewing a petition for the immediate withdrawal of severe government restrictions in that region has imposed a communications blackout citing fears of unrest.

The court ruled that the situation in Kashmir was “sensitive” and that the government needed more time to tackle it.

“The situation is dynamic and changing every day,” Attorney General KK Venugopal said in the Supreme Court, according to legal reporting website Bar&Bench.

“We are reviewing the situation and lifting restrictions step by step,” he added.

It was however not clear how long the restrictions would continue, with Venugopal saying it could take days or months.

This coming even as Kashmir curfew entered its 9th day on Tuesday with unprecedented security lockdown keeping people in Indian-administered Kashmir indoors.

Residents were running short of essentials under the near-constant curfew and communications blackout.

The lockdown is expected to last at least through Thursday, India’s independence day.

The Indian government revoked the special status of Indian-administered Kashmir in its constitution, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years.

A presidential decree was issued on August 5 revoking Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority state, including the right to its own constitution and autonomy to make laws on all matters, except defence, communications and foreign affairs.

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