Demonstrations denouncing the government's decision to revoke the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kasmir state are slated to take place in cities across India on Wednesday, August 7. Protesters led by various civil society organizations and political parties will reportedly rally in major urban areas, including Bengaluru (Karnataka state), Chennai (Tamil Nadu state), Kolkata (West Bengal state), Mumbai (Maharastra state), and New Delhi, from 11:00 (local time).
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are anticipated near all protest sites.
Separatists have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989. Around 70,000 people have been killed and many more injured in related violence, uprisings, and military crackdowns. Indian security personnel have been conducting frequent security operations and have clashed with suspected militants in recent months.
Indian security forces announced on Thursday, August 1, that an additional 28,000 soldiers have been deployed to the Kashmir Valley. Officials did not provide a reason for the sudden deployment. The Ministry of Home Affairs had previously ordered 10,000 more soldiers to deploy to the region during the previous week to assist in counterterrorism operations.
Following a cabinet meeting on Monday morning, Home Minister Amit Shah proposed to parliament that Article 370 in the Constitution, which accords Jammu and Kashmir a special autonomous status, be revoked. He also proposed that Jammu and Kashmir be reorganized as a Union Territory with an Assembly, and Ladakh be a separate Union Territory with no legislature.
Individuals in India are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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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