No respite for besieged IOK people as clampdown continues

645

Srinagar

There is no respite for the people of Kashmir as life continues to remain crippled on the 49th consecutive day, today, due to military clampdown and communications blackout, in Indian occupied Kashmir. According to Kashmir Media Service, no Friday prayers were held in the historic Jamia Masjid of Srinagar, as India continued to place Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and thousands of others Hurriyat leaders, activists and youth under house arrest or in jails since 5th of August.
All efforts by New Delhi and IOK authorities to bring back normalcy have hit a roadblock. Even after Governor Satya Pal Malik introduced the so-called market intervention scheme for apple growers, there has not been improvement in sales. Healthcare has been the biggest casualty in the Kashmir valley and hundreds of patients have been suffering due to curfew and communications blackout imposed by India.
Ambulances cannot be contacted as no telephone service is available and a number of patients, who need chemotherapy and other medical interventions, face a lot of difficulties to reach hospitals due to lack of public transport. In some cases, patients are forced to walk along with their attendants to reach hospitals.
With no mobile connectivity and internet service available, hundreds of students have shifted out of Kashmir to prepare for different examinations. Although the authorities earlier claimed that schools have been reopened in Kashmir, students were not going to the schools.
Similarly, colleges and other higher education institutions have not resumed regular classes as telephone services in most parts of Kashmir and all internet services continue to remain suspended. While private schools of Kashmir have provided assignments and video tutorials to the students for home study, government schools have no such arrangements in place for students. A number of private coaching institutions have shifted Kashmiri students, after consultations with their parents, to Himachal Pradesh. Authorities were lifting and re-imposing restrictions in sensitive areas of Kashmir. Transporters have claimed that their vehicles were taken by police on 4-5 August.—APP