Srinagar, August 15, 2019 (PPI-OT): In occupied Kashmir, days after India imposed curfew and other restrictions in the territory, FRANCE 24’s correspondent, Surabhi Tandon, visited Srinagar to gauge public reaction as Muslims celebrated the Eid-al-Adha, the feast of the sacrifice. Tandon reported that movement was severely restricted in the occupied territory, with locals under a curfew and no-go zones for journalists, whose movements were also tracked.
Tandon said that Indian government claims that it had eased restrictions for Eid-al-Adha itself were inaccurate. On the festival’s first day, major mosques were kept closed during prayers, meaning that many were unable to celebrate the holiest Muslim festival of the year that marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
“On the morning of Eid there was no movement allowed, not of people walking on the streets, not of cars,” she said.
Tandon said that the Indian forces were not the only hindrance to reporting: Kashmiri anger was also a factor, with many locals refusing to speak on camera and expressing concern that media reports had not reflected the reality on the ground.
She said, satellite television was one of the few remaining ways for Kashmiris to hear Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi give a speech, since phone, internet and cable television have been cut off. In addition, she added, political leaders and many imams were arrested and access to ATMs was restricted.
FRANCE 24’s correspondent encountered people on the streets of Srinagar angry at the decision of revoking Article 370. “This decision has been made without, not just the consent, but without even any sort of conversation with the Kashmiri people or their leaders,” Tandon said. “Some people told us that Article 370 was, in a sense, their only bridge to India and that has been burnt.”
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