Defying the stringent curfew which has entered seventh day and blatant Indian oppression, thousands of Kashmiris including women, children and elderly persons flooded the streets of Kashmir’s summer capital while chanting full-throat slogans of “return India” and “Indian Constitution unacceptable” against India’s revocation of Articles 370 and 35A which had secured special status for Jammu and Kashmir as the Muslim-majority state.

Sources familiar with the matter told the media that Indian forces used pellet guns and tear gas on the protesters, injuring dozens of them.

Amid strict travel restrictions and clampdown, India has been seeking to tighten its grip on the region with all public mobile, landline 

telephone and internet connections suspended from the last seven days in the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir state.

Many people were still struggling to make contact with relatives to plan the holiday while India has cut off all communications after detaining more than 500 political leaders and activists, and enforced a curfew with tens of thousands of troops and policemen stopping movement of all 


Regional leaders have warned of a backlash in the region, where already tens of thousands of Kashmiris have lost their lives in decades of oppression by India.

Even supplies of food and medicines have been suspended by Indian authorities in many parts of the valley, leading to severe shortage of 

food for families who have been locked down in their homes.

Instead of resolving the dispute under United Nations Security Council resolutions, New Delhi on Monday scrapped the state’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.

Signs of Friday’s protest - the largest since India’s clampdown - were visible in the Soura area of Srinagar on Saturday.

Large rocks, wooden platforms, poles and boulders blocked the main street, and shops were shut. Protest graffiti, including calls for 

“Azad” - the Urdu word for freedom - were visible.

“Why is India doing this to us?” said an elderly man, Mohammed Sultan, whose truck that he used to transport goods and earn a daily wage was damaged. Pointing to his two young grandsons, he said: “How do I do my work and feed these people now?”

Another woman screamed: “Is this how Modi is going to bring development to us?”

Many people sought out the few policemen who have been provided with mobile phones. At a crossroads in Srinagar’s Nowhatta area, a police 

official said around 78 people had used his phone on Saturday to contact relatives outside Kashmir.

Inside a second-floor meeting room at Srinagar’s district administration office, more than 100 people crowded around two mobile phones to make calls outside the valley.

An official there, who declined to be named, said 354 people had registered their names to use the phones.

Babli, who only gave one name, rushed there to try to call her son and daughter, both in Delhi, whom she had not been able to speak to since 

the blackout began on Sunday night. “My serial number is 309, I do not know when I will be able to talk to them,” she said.

Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and even some top opposition leaders have been criticised strongly by the opposition 

parties, including Indian National Congress.

The BJP has long campaigned for abrogating Kashmir’s special privileges in the constitution.

International rights groups, including Amnesty International, have urged the Indian government to end the communications blackout and stop human 

rights’ violations.

The Editors Guild of India on Saturday issued a statement saying it was impossible for journalists to cover developments in Kashmir without 

internet access. “Media transparency has and always should be India’s strength, not fear,” it said.

Congress member of parliament Rahul Gandhi on Saturday called on the government to respond to reports of violence in Kashmir and provide more 

information about the situation on the ground.

India’s arch-rival Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended trade at its latest move, further intensifying the complex 

ties between both countries.

Pakistan said on Saturday it had canceled a bus linking Lahore with Delhi, the last remaining public transport link between the neighbors.

China has supported Pakistan’s stance to take a motion to the United Nations Security Council while condemning the Indian decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir.