Residents of Indian-held Kashmir will be coming out onto the streets today (Friday) for a massive protest.
The curfew on the valley has been in place for 19 days. Stores are closed, streets are empty and communication lines are still cut off. There is no internet, no telephone and no television in Kashmir right now and Indian Army soldiers are stationed across the valley.
Hurriyat leaders have called for protests across the valley on Friday. In Srinagar, a march will be held till the UN office. The protests will begin after Friday prayers. Protests are scheduled in Germany and France as well. In Brussels, the Kashmir Council Europe will be staging a protest.
“Every person, young and old, men and women, should march after Friday prayers,” the resistance leaders said. Posters were pasted near mosques, informing people of the protests.
One of the posters said the Indian government has planned to change the demographic of Kashmir by flooding it with outsiders and urged clerics to speak about these fears during their sermons on Friday. In the Soura part of Srinagar, where protests have flared, some residents said that they would try to join the protests.
Pakistani band Junoon has dedicated its August 25 London concert to Kashmir.
There are reports that over 10,000 people have been arrested by Indian forces in the past 18 days. The area has been locked down since August 5, when India repealed Article 370 of its constitution and revoked the special status given to Kashmir. It was an autonomous state before the repeal.
A curfew has been in place in the area ever since, with little news coming out of how many people have been arrested or hurt. Pakistan has been raising the issue at various forums, including the UN Security Council and the OIC.