Authorities in Srinagar have tightened security ahead of Friday prayers after there were calls for a protest march to a UN office. Posters appeared overnight this week in Srinagar, in Indian-administered Kashmir, calling for a march to the office of the UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan to protest against India’s revocation of Jammu and Kashmir state’s special autonomy.
The march is also aimed at resisting the Indian attempt to change the demography of Kashmir through settlement of the outsiders in the territory. The clerics will raise the issue during their Friday sermons. The call by separatists seeking Kashmir’s secession from India was the first since that decision on Aug. 5, which brought communication and travel restrictions in Kashmir that are still largely in place. Some landlines were restored last week.
Protests have broken out in parts of Srinagar over the last two weeks, some drawing hundreds of people. At least 152 people have been hurt by teargas and pellets since security forces launched a sweeping crackdown, data from the Himalayan region’s two main hospitals shows.
Meanwhile, curfew and communication blackout entered the 19th consecutive day, today, further worsening the miseries of the besieged population across the territory. Vehicular as well as pedestrian movement remains blocked with barricades and concertina wires on roads and streets guarded by thousands of Indian troops.
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