Police shelling in Kashmir
Photo via wikimedia.org

In a recent development, Indian authorities announced the reopening of schools and some offices in Indian held Kashmir. This move came after a two weeks long curfew. The Indian government imposed curfew and communication blackout after stripping Kashmir from its special status.
The government employees resumed their duties on Monday at the civil secretariat. The government also announced the reopening of at least 200 primary schools in various parts of Kashmir. However, most of the schools remained empty. Parents are fearing the tensed situation. Protests are also reported in various parts of Kashmir. The government sources confirm that thirty to fifty percent of the staff was present in schools. Indian administered Kashmir authorities announce that middle schools will be reopened from Wednesday. Special services departments will also start working within this week.
Contrary to Indian claims the situation is not normal in Kashmir. Human rights activists claim that the government is trying to show artificial normalcy by risking the lives of children and government employees. The Kashmir valley has been facing the worst crisis for two weeks.
The students of primary schools are of 12 years age or less. While there is a complete communication blackout in the valley. Parents of children argue that there is no way of contacting children if something bad happens with them in schools or on roads. Currently, people in the valley are unable to contact with rest of the world. Authorities restored few landlines but residents say this is not enough for the entire population. Authorities refuse to comment on the restoration of internet and mobile phone services.
Human rights groups claim that the Indian government opened the schools to get photos of children in uniform to show normalcy in the region. The Indian government did the same when National Security Advisor visited the valley and went back after making videos. Experts say that this artificial normalcy cannot represent the situation of the region facing consistent curfew for two weeks.
Srinagar’s state-administered schools were open on Monday but the attendance was only one percent. Most of the present students were children of defense personnel.
In Srinagar, protesters were seen blocking the roads to block traffic. However, these protests were dispersed by police. Indian authorities say that situation is slowly moving towards normalcy and no law and order situation was visible in the region. The current situation started when Indian Prime Minister Modi announced stripping Kashmir of its special status. The residents of Kashmir fear that the Indian government is planning a demographic change in the region. Revocation of article 370 will finally convert the Muslims into a minority in the region. Media sources say that thousands of protesters have been arrested by authorities. However, protests are still ongoing in various parts of Kashmir. Almost all of the prominent political figures are either detained or placed under house arrest. Currently, three former chief ministers, human rights activists, and legislators are facing detention by Indian authorities. With more than 80,000 police, paramilitary forces and armed forces Kashmir is the most militarized zone of the world. Markets and shops are also closed. Pharmacies are also closed. Transport services are also not available.
Conclusively we can say that the Indian government is trying to portray artificial normalcy in the region. India is trying to solve a political crisis via the military. These Indian tactics are provoking neighboring Pakistan. Current Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing fierce criticism by Opposition on taking a soft stance against Indian moves. Kashmir is a major dispute between two nuclear-armed neighbors. This is why Kashmir is also called the world’s most dangerous nuclear flashpoint.

Related: KASHMIRI’S REACTION ON THE ABROGATION OF ARTICLE 370

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