Authorities imposed a curfew and disabled internet access in Jammu on Friday, February 15, as mobs burned cars, erected roadblocks, and attacked bystanders amid calls for a "bandh," or politically motivated general strike. Over a dozen people have been injured so far in the protests and incidents of vandalism have been frequently reported throughout the city. The sociopolitical environment remains tense across Jammu and Kashmir state, with the most intense protests reported in Jammu's Jewel Chowk, Purani Mandi, Rehari, Shaktinagar, Pacca Danga, Janipur, Gandhinagar, Nawabad, Peer Mitha, Pacca Danga, Channi Himmat, Domana, Malik Market, Bagh-e-Bahu, and Bakshinagar areas.
Crowds refused to disperse following the initial announcement of the curfew and the general strike remains ongoing. Further protests, arson attacks, and clashes between protesters and police remain possible.
Protests erupted following a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack in Awantipora (Pulwama district) that killed at least 40 Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel on February 14. The Jaish-e-Mohammad militant group, based in Pakistan, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Separatists have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989. Some 70,000 people have died and many more have been injured in related violence, uprisings, and military crackdowns. Recently, the Indian government has conducted several security operations in the region amid rising tensions and sporadic violence.
Individuals in the affected area are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against travel to parts of Kashmir, notably including areas along the Line of Control (LoC), due to the significant risk of violence.
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