India to ease Kashmir curfew ‘after Thursday’: Governor
NEW DELHI, NEW DELHI, Aug 14: India's crippling 10-day-old curfew in Kashmir will ease after Thursday, according to the state governor, but phone lines and the internet will remain cut.
India shut off communications and severely restricted movement in the part of Kashmir it controls on August 4, a day before New Delhi stripped the Muslim-majority region of its autonomy.
Fearing protests and unrest in the long-restive region, tens of thousands of extra Indian troops have been deployed, turning the picturesque main city of Srinagar into a warren of barbed wire and barricades.
While rules on the movement of people would be eased after India's Independence Day celebrations on Thursday, state governor Satya Pal Malik said that phone lines and the internet would remain down.
"We don't want to give that instrument to the enemy until things settle down," Malik told the Times of India. "In a week or 10 days, everything will be alright and we will gradually open lines of communication."
The lockdown has not completely prevented anger at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's move bursting out into the open, however.
According to residents around 8,000 people protested after Friday prayers, with security forces firing tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns to break up the rally.
Footage filmed by AFP on Monday showed hundreds of people protesting in the Soura area of Srinagar, shouting slogans such as "We want freedom" and "India go back" as helicopters buzzed overhead.
"What India has done is unacceptable to us. Our struggle will continue even if India keeps Kashmir locked down for months," one protester told AFP.
"We could not pray in peace on the day of Eid. A large number of soldiers surrounded the mosque," a man said, declining to give his name.
According to her uncle, she was shot in the eye by a marble fired from a catapult by an Indian soldier at a checkpoint as they rode on his scooter on Monday evening. -AFP