Today, people from Kashmir, as well as people who sympathize with them around the world, took to public events organized in honor of the Day of Enslavement of Kashmir, Arab News reported.
Residents of the Muslim territory in India began to celebrate this sad date on August 5, 2019, when the country's parliament approved a bill to abolish the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The authorities annulled Article 370 and Article 35-a of the Indian constitution, which stemmed from it, which guaranteed broad autonomy for the region.
In particular, Jammu and Kashmir, the only one of all the states, had its own constitution and flag, and could independently decide on all issues, except those related to international politics, defense and communications. In addition, the state had a quota system for employment, where preference was given to local residents.
After the amendments to the constitution, the state of Jammu and Kashmir became a "union territory". It was directly administered by the federal government, not by the local government. All privileges of local residents were cancelled.
Moreover, a contingent of troops numbering 500 thousand people was introduced into the former state. Initially, the Kashmiris responded to the authorities with strikes, demonstrations and pickets, but over time, the protest mood dwindled.
Shops, schools and other public buildings in Srinagar, the state's main city, remained open this Friday.
"The very fact that nothing happened in Srinagar on August 5 shows that the people have made the government's decision to cancel the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir," Hina Bhat, a spokeswoman for India's ruling party, told Arab News.
Of the people whom journalists met on the streets, few dared to express their opinion on this issue. The chairman of the Lal Chowk trade association was one of the few who did not hide his opinion.
“People are simply intimidated, that’s why they are silent,” he complained.
Former state minister Mehbuba Mufti, who leads the People's Democratic Party, gathered people for a rally on Friday morning, but it was quickly dispersed by police.
“On this day we took the flags of Kashmir. The same flags that the Indian constitution guaranteed us, but we were immediately pushed back into the headquarters of the party and were not allowed to march through the city. I warn everyone that those people who encroached on the constitution to take away rights from Kashmir can completely destroy it, ”the politician said.