India stops Kashmir newspapers from printing amid unrest
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India stops Kashmir newspapers from printing amid unrest

Cobrapost |
July 18, 2016

India stops Kashmir newspapers from printing amid unrest


SRINAGAR,India: Authorities in india’s portion of Kashmir have shut down printing presses and temporarily banned newspapers from publishing in a sweeping information blackout after days of anti-India protests left dozens of people dead in the volatile region.

State government spokesman and Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said the measures were aimed at saving lives and strengthening peace efforts. The government says 36 people — 35 civilians and a police officer — have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, while local human rights groups and newspapers say at least 40 have died.

A strict curfew was in effect in troubled areas for the ninth straight day Sunday, with hundreds of thousands of people trying to cope with shortages of food and other necessities. Tens of thousands of government troops patrolled mostly deserted streets in the region, where shops and businesses remained closed.

Kashmir, a predominantly Muslim region, is divided evenly between India and Pakistan, but both claim it in its entirety. Most people in India’s portion resent the presence of Indian troops and want independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Since 1989, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown. India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir since British colonialists left the Indian subcontinent in 1947.

Unwilling to take any chances, Indian authorities appear to be persisting with their clampdown to avoid aggravating tensions in view of Pakistan’s call for a “black day” on Wednesday to protest India’s handling of dissent in Kashmir.

On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that his country would continue extending political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. He said he called for observing the “black day” to express solidarity with “Kashmiris who are facing atrocities at the hands of Indian forces.”

The largest street protests in recent years in India’s portion of Kashmir erupted last week after Indian troops killed the popular young leader of the largest rebel group fighting against Indian rule in the region.


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