Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – The main government offices and some schools in Indian-administered Kashmir have reopened after a two-week shutdown amid fear and tension over the government’s decision to revoke the region’s autonomy.
The authorities said they were re-opening 190 primary schools in the city yet few children could be seen at half a dozen locations visited by AFP. Government employees on Monday resumed their duties at the Civil Secretariat, the headquarters of the Indian administration, following directions issued last week.
The directions also included the reopening of nearly 200 primary schools in selected areas of the disputed region. Most schools, however, were empty as wary parents refused to send their children to school while the situation remains tense amid low-intensity and sporadic protests.
India on August 5 ended the special constitutional status of Muslim-majority Kashmir,where a 30-year-old uprising against Indian rule has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians. Hours before its move, India curtailed movement and shut down phones and the internet, bringing in tens of thousands of troops to turn the main city of Srinagar into a fortress.
Some 120,000 extra soldiers have been deployed, a security source told AFP, joining around 500,000 already in the northern Himalayan region divided with Pakistan since 1947. At least 4,000 people have also been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows imprisonment for up to two years without charge or trial, government sources said.
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17 November, 2019