2019–2021 Jammu and Kashmir lockdown

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2019–2021 Jammu and Kashmir lockdown
Part of the Kashmir conflict[1]
IN-JK (2019).svg
Map of India with the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir highlighted red (lighter shade indicates claimed but not controlled territories)
Date5 August 2019 – present
(2 years, 5 months and 12 days)
34°02′00″N 74°40′00″E / 34.0333°N 74.6667°E / 34.0333; 74.6667Coordinates: 34°02′00″N 74°40′00″E / 34.0333°N 74.6667°E / 34.0333; 74.6667
Caused byRevocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status
GoalsCounter-terrorism, peacekeeping[2]
MethodsCurfew, communications and media blackout, increased military presence
StatusOngoing; partial restoration of communications services[3]
Casualties and losses

The 2019–2021 Jammu and Kashmir lockdown refers to a security lockdown and communications blackout that has been imposed throughout the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir following the revocation of Article 370,[6] with the goal of preemptively curbing unrest, violence and protests. Thousands of civilians, mostly young men, have been detained in the crackdown.[7][8][9] The Indian government has stated that the tough lockdown measures and substantially increased deployment of security forces has been aimed at curbing terrorism.[10]

The revocation and subsequent lockdown drew condemnation from several countries, especially Pakistan, which has lodged protests with India on multiple occasions.[11][12]

Timeline[edit source | edit]

The lockdown officially started on 5 August 2019, following the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir via the scrapping of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Indian constitution and subsequent introduction of the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019.[13][14] Since the lockdown was brought into effect, no foreign journalist has been allowed by the Indian government to report from the new union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.[15]

According to a 6 September 2019 report by the Indian government, nearly 4,000 people have been arrested in the disputed region. Among those arrested were more than 200 local Kashmiri politicians, including two former chief ministers of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, along with more than 100 leaders and activists from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.[5]

On 1 October 2019, a three-judge bench consisting of justices N. V. Ramana, Ramayyagari Subhash Reddy and Bhushan Ramkrishna Gavai of the Supreme Court of India, heard the appeal of seven petitions on the lockdown.[16]

On 3 October 2019, journalists in Kashmir staged a sit-in protest against the enforced communications blackout, describing the total blockade of internet services and mobile phones as a "gag".[17]

On 4 October 2019, the Indian government denied United States Senator Chris Van Hollen's request to travel to Jammu and Kashmir.[15] Meanwhile, Sandeep Pandey, an education reformer, and other activists who were on an informal fact-finding mission were also barred from leaving the airport in Srinagar.[15] On the same day, protests were held by the local Kashmiri people, where they chanted pro-Pakistan slogans and demanded an end to what they described as the "Indian occupation of their territory".[18]

On 24 October 2019, village council elections were held across Jammu and Kashmir, despite a boycott by most political parties and the detention of many mainstream local politicians; political scientist Noor Ahmed Baba called it "more like an artificial exercise".[19]

Mobile phone services were barred for the 85th consecutive day on 28 October, for at least 2.5 million prepaid cell phone users in Jammu and Kashmir.[20] In January 2020, a 2G internet connection was established in Jammu & Kashmir, albeit only for limited whitelisted sites approved by the Indian government.[21]

A new curfew was imposed a day ahead of the first anniversary of India's decision to revoke the disputed region's semi-autonomy, on 4 August 2020. Officials announced a two-day "full curfew" citing intelligence reports of looming protests in the Muslim-majority region, where locals have called for the anniversary to be marked as a "black day".[22]

On 16 August 2020, 4G LTE mobile services were restored in two districts of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir on a trial basis, after the Supreme Court of India ruled that an indefinite shutdown was effectively illegal.[23]

In December, the Indian government arrested at least 75 Kashmiri leaders and activists to forestall political unrest after an alliance of Kashmir's opposition political parties won elections in Jammu and Kashmir.[24]

Re-introduction of tourism[edit source | edit]

The Indian government planned to re-introduce tourism in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir and lift security restrictions for all foreigners visiting the region, although they would still be prevented from using mobile internet or cellphones.[25]

International reactions[edit source | edit]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "India Says It Will Ease Restrictions in Kashmir". The New York Times. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  2. Bajekal, Naina (23 October 2019). "As India Starts to Lift Kashmir Restrictions, Life Isn't Returning to Normal". Time. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  3. "India restores 4G internet services in two districts of Kashmir". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  4. Sidiq, Nusrat (31 December 2019). "69 deaths in Kashmir since Aug. 5, rights group says". Anadolu Agency. Archived from the original on 3 May 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Thousands detained in Indian Kashmir crackdown, official data reveals". Reuters. 12 September 2019.
  6. "Communication blackout in Kashmir devastating, time for India to lift restrictions: US House Committee". indiatoday.in.
  7. "At Least 2,300 People Have Been Detained During the Lockdown in Kashmir". Time. 21 August 2019.
  8. "Kashmir city on lockdown after calls for protest march". The Guardian. 23 August 2019.
  9. "Inside Kashmir's lockdown: 'Even I will pick up a gun'". BBC. 10 August 2019.
  10. "India PM defends Kashmir decision". 9 August 2019.
  11. "Unanticipated challenge to Article 370". The Express Tribune. 9 July 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  12. Goel, Vindu (27 February 2019). "What Is Article 370, and Why Does It Matter in Kashmir?". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  13. "Restrictions eased as Kashmir enters Day 22 of lockdown". The Economic Times. 26 August 2019.
  14. "No respite in sight as J&K lockdown enters 25th day". The Asian Age. 30 August 2019.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "US Senator Barred From Kashmir as Lockdown Enters 3rd Month". Voice of America. 5 October 2019.
  16. "J&K shutdown: 3-judge SC Bench to hear 7 pleas". The Hindu. 1 October 2019.
  17. "60 days of lockdown: Kashmir journalists protest against clampdown, demand restoration of internet". India Today. 3 October 2019.
  18. "Kashmir under lockdown: Anger over 'unacceptable burdens'". Al Jazeera. 5 October 2019.
  19. "India holds Kashmir elections despite lockdown, boycott". Washington Post. 24 October 2019.
  20. "Kashmir lockdown: Pre-paid mobile services barred for 85th day". The Economic Times. 28 October 2019.
  21. "2G mobile Internet services restored in J&K". The Hindu. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  22. "Curfew in Kashmir ahead of autonomy revocation anniversary". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  23. "India restores 4G internet services in parts of Kashmir". Reuters. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  24. "India arrests 75 in Kashmir after local elections". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  25. "India to allow tourists in Kashmir, but they likely won't have access to internet or phones". Aijaz Husain, Associated Press. global news.
  26. "US wants Kashmir restrictions lifted". Al Jazeera. 1 October 2019.
  27. "US congresswoman calls for 'immediate restoration of communication' in occupied Kashmir". Dawn. 27 August 2019.
  28. "US congresswoman condemns India's 'unacceptable actions' in occupied Kashmir". Dawn. 14 September 2019.
  29. "Communications blockade in occupied Kashmir must end: US lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez". Dawn. 1 October 2019.
  30. "US President Trump reiterates offer to mediate Kashmir crisis". Al Jazeera. 24 September 2019.
  31. PTI (6 October 2019). "Imran Khan issues warning as JKLF starts Article 370 protest march from PoK to Kashmir". ThePrint. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  32. "Article 370: What happened with Kashmir and why it matters". BBC News. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  33. "Human Rights Crisis in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir". Embassy of Pakistan USA. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  34. "Pakistan to downgrade ties with India over Kashmir move". Al Jazeera. 7 August 2019.
  35. "One million Indian troops in Kashmir a hurdle, says Pakistan". Hindustan Times. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  36. Dawn.com (30 November 2016). "India has deployed more than 1 million troops in held Kashmir: Foreign Office". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  37. "Besieged by Indian troops, Kashmir mourns loss of autonomy". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  38. Ashraf, Ajaz. "'Do you need 700,000 soldiers to fight 150 militants?': Kashmiri rights activist Khurram Parvez". Scroll.in. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  39. Sharma, Vikram (18 August 2019). "Forces deploy 1 million to guard Kashmir Valley". The Asian Age. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  40. Sharma, Vikram (18 August 2019). "Forces deploy 1 million to guard every inch of Kashmir valley". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  41. Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Kashmir: Pakistan's Khan warns of 'genocide of Muslims' | DW | 30.08.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  42. Dawn.com (5 August 2020). "Youm-e-Istehsal Kashmir: India learned how to change regional demography from Israel, says President Alvi". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  43. "Pakistan to observe 'Youm-e-Istehsal' on Aug 5 in solidarity with Kashmiris | Pakistan Today". www.pakistantoday.com.pk. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  44. "Pakistan to mark Aug 5 as Day of Exploitation to protest abrogation of Article 370". South Asia Monitor. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  45. "Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Remarks on the Current Situation in Jammu Kashmir". www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/. 6 August 2019.
  46. "India's 'unilateral steps' add to Kashmir's troubles – Erdogan". TRT World. 14 February 2020.
  47. "UAE Ambassador to India reacts to Kashmir decision". Khaleej Times. 6 August 2019.
  48. "OIC Contact Group Renews Commitment for a Peaceful Settlement of Jammu and Kashmir Issue". www.oic-oci.org/home/?lan=en. 22 June 2020.
  49. "Let Kashmir Speak". Amnesty International.
  50. "Kashmir: India's 'draconian' blackout sets worrying precedent, warns UN". The Guardian. 8 August 2019.
  51. "UN concern over Kashmir lockdown as hundreds reported arrested". Al Jazeera. 8 August 2019.
  52. "Iran urges India, Pakistan to resort to 'dialog, peaceful methods' amid Kashmir tensions". Press TV.
  53. "Iran issues rare criticism of India over Kashmir". Atlantic Council. 30 August 2019.

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