Srinagar, October 09, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, normal life remained crippled on the 66th day, today, as military lockdown has cost the territory’s economy more than Rs 200 billion over the past two months. Amid continued military siege, internet and mobile phone services are snapped, public transport is off the roads, and business establishments are shut while schools and offices continue to wear a deserted look.
The lockdown has rendered more than 50,000 workers jobless in the carpet industry alone. There is also a shortage of skilled labour in occupied Kashmir, as some 400,000 migrants have left since India imposed undeclared martial law in occupied Kashmir on 5th August. As per industry experts, Srinagar’s almost 1,000 iconic houseboats have been running empty due to absence of tourists.
Amid unprecedented restrictions and communications blackout, residents of the Kashmir Valley have mocked Governor’s directive asking for lifting travel advisory saying who will come to Kashmir when even locals are finding it hard to move and communicate with their next-door relatives.
Meanwhile, Kashmiri activist, Shehla Rasheed has announced her disassociation from electoral politics saying that she cannot be party to the exercise of legitimizing the brutal suppression of her people in occupied Kashmir. Shehla, a former vice-president of the JNU Students’ Union, in a statement called the Block Development Council polls a sham electoral exercise being carried out by New Delhi in order to convince the world that India is still a democracy.
The Indian National Congress in occupied Kashmir has declared to boycott upcoming Block Development Council polls in protest against detention of party leaders. Congress leader, Ghulam Ahmad Mir, while addressing a press conference in Jammu said that the elections were being held to facilitate only one ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party.
The global watchdog, Human Rights Watch has urged India to release political prisoners, end crackdown operations and restore internet and mobile services in occupied Kashmir. The HRW South Asia Director, Meenakshi Ganguly, in a statement posted on the website of the organization asked India to announce an end to repressive actions and hold accountable the forces’ personnel responsible for abuses. She said that months of a broad-based clampdown on civil liberties can’t be justified by vague claims of maintaining law and order.
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Kashmir Media Service
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