Detained in Kashmir
Kashmir Updates -YASHRAJ SHARMA- 9 September, 2019
RINAGAR, Kashmir—Around the Soura neighborhood of Srinagar, the capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, civilians have dug trenches and built wood, tin, and barbed wire blockades. Standing next to a bonfire near one blockade on Aug. 20, Farhan Mohammad, a 26-year-old local whose name has been changed, warned, “When the forces will come for us, which is for sure, dozens will die.”
These young men have sealed all the entry and exit points of their area, which is home to at least 500 families, in the hopes of protecting the civilians inside from arrest by the Indian Army. Since Aug. 5, when New Delhi stripped Kashmir of its special status under Article 370 and Article 35A of Indian Constitution, these activists watch the area all day and night.
They have their work cut out for them. Just prior to the cancellation of the articles, New Delhi sent 38,000 troops to the region to curb expected mass civilian protests. Those joined the to the existing half a million already there. Security forces made quick work of arresting and detaining prominent politicians, business people, activists, and lawyers.
Such arrests only further alienate Kashmiris, especially the young, who could turn to more violent means of protest in future.