News Alerts

16 Aug 2019 | 04:06 PM UTC

India: Hundreds protest in Srinagar August 16 over removal of Kashmir special status /update 4

India News Alert

Hundreds protest in Srinagar August 16 over removal of Kashmir special status; further demonstrations likely over the near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/16/2019, 12:00 AM until 8/18/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India

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Event

On Friday, August 16, a demonstration denouncing the government's decision to revoke the special autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir state erupted into clashes with police in the city of Srinagar. Protesters reportedly hurled stones at security forces, who responded with tear gas and pellet-firing shotguns. No injuries were reported. India-administered Jammu and Kashmir state has been under a security lockdown since Monday, August 5, with landlines and internet services blocked in several areas. Lingering transportation and business disruptions are to be expected in the state, including in Srinagar, as the curfew continues. New Delhi is expected to ease restrictions in Kashmir over the coming days.

Similar demonstrations are likely over the coming week. A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected near all gatherings.

Context

Following a cabinet meeting on August 5, Indian 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.

After New Delhi rescinded the state's effective constitutional autonomy, a curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, along with a blockage of landlines and internet services in many areas. Thousands protested the move in Srinagar on August 9, with Indian police firing tear gas and pellets to disperse demonstrators. On August 10, rocks, wooden structures, and other objects placed by demonstrators on a major road blocked traffic; shops were also closed in the city.

Advice

Individuals in Jammu and Kashmir state 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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