News Alerts

21 Aug 2019 | 10:06 AM UTC

India: Religious leaders call for protest in Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir state) despite ban August 23

India News Alert

Muslim leaders call on followers to participate in mass protest in Srinagar despite bans on August 23; heightened security presence expected

TIMEFRAME expected from 8/21/2019, 12:00 AM until 8/25/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kolkata). COUNTRY/REGION India

Event

Religious leaders in the Muslim community have called on fellow Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir state to conduct a mass protest on Friday, August 23, despite limitations on gatherings in India overall and restrictions in parts of Jammu and Kashmir more specifically. Groups seek to protest India's decision to revoke Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state's independent status on Monday, August 5. This is the first such call to protest since then.

Should the protest go ahead, protesters will leave Friday prayers and march to the office of the U.N. Military Observer group in Srinagar.

A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the march route if it takes place. Clashes between protesters and security forces 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After New Delhi rescinded the state's effective constitutional autonomy, a curfew was imposed in Jammu and Kashmir state on August 5, along with a blockage of landlines and internet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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