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20 Aug 2019 | 08:19 PM UTC

India: Movement restrictions eased in Srinagar, tensions remain high August 20

India News Alert

Movement restrictions eased in Srinagar as tensions remain high August 20; further demonstrations and clashes between protesters and security forces over the near term cannot be ruled out

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/20/2019, 12:00 AM until 8/21/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India

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Event

Indian authorities on Tuesday, August 20, eased restrictions on the movement of people and traffic in several localities in Srinagar, while also restoring telephone landline service in some areas of the city. Despite the measures, a heavy security presence remains in place across the city, and at least 30 people were detained in Srinagar overnight (local time) from Monday, August 19, into Tuesday, according to local officials. In response to the crackdown, locals have erected barricades across the city to hinder the movement of Indian security forces. Clashes between security forces and protesters continue to be reported in the Srinagar enclave of Soura, which remains on full lockdown.

Lingering disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected in Jammu and Kashmir state over the coming days amid heightened security measures. Further protest activity and associated clashes between demonstrators and police cannot be ruled out.

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After New Delhi rescinded the state's effective constitutional autonomy, a curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir state on August 5, along with a blockage of landlines and internet services in many areas. Thousands protested the move in Srinagar in the weeks since the announcement and imposition of the curfew, with protesters clashing with security forces and obstructing traffic on major thoroughfares. Business disruptions have also been frequently reported in recent weeks.

Advice

Individuals in Jammu and Kashmir state are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests, prepare for lingering disruptions, 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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