Hundreds of political leaders and activists, many of them separatists seeking Kashmir’s secession from India, have been incarcerated and the appeal to the public came through posters that appeared overnight in the region’s main city of Srinagar.
“Every person, young and old, men and women, should march after Friday prayers,” the Joint Resistance Leadership, which represents all major separatist groups, said on one poster. The public must march to the office of the U.N. Military Observer group in Srinagar, which was set up in 1949 after the first war between India and Pakistan over Kashmir.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked Muslim majority Kashmir’s special status under which people from the rest of India could not buy property or compete for government jobs and college places. Modi’s ruling party had long sought an end to Kashmir’s special status, seeing it as appeasement of minorities and a barrier to its integration with the rest of the country.
On Wednesday (August 21), a gun-battle between security forces and militants erupted in Baramulla in northern Kashmir in which a policeman and a rebel were killed, police said. It was the first clash since the new measures were announced.
Crowds have demonstrated frequently in Srinagar despite a ban on public gatherings and the severe restriction of phone and internet services.
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31 March, 2020