100 days of crippling lockdown in Kashmir (Photo Feature)

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Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – On August 5, the Indian government withdrew Article 370 of India’s constitution, which gave the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir partial autonomy.

The article, abrogated in a cloak-and-dagger manner by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, was followed by the imposition of a stringent curfew in the Himalayan region and the snapping of phone and internet connections.

On Tuesday, the worst lockdown in more than 70 years of conflict in Kashmir will enter its 100th day.

India’s move also included bifurcating Jammu and Kashmir – India’s only Muslim-majority state – into two “union” territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh, to be administered by the federal government.

The abrogation of Article 370, done in the garb of uniting and strengthening the “territorial integrity of India”, had been appearing in the BJP’s election manifestos for several years.

The article granted Indian-administered Kashmir a degree of autonomy and restricted ownership rights to only natives of the disputed territory.

Residents now fear the law’s abrogation is directed towards changing the region’s demography.

Before the BJP government scrapped the article, thousands of soldiers were flown into the region, which is already one of the world’s most militarised with nearly 700,000 troops on the ground. The security lockdown has forced limited-to-no movement of people in the Kashmir valley.

Although some communications restrictions, such as landline phones and post-paid mobile services, have been eased, the ban on internet, text messaging and prepaid mobile connections continues.

It is Kashmir’s education sector that has been the worst hit as schools and colleges remain shut and students lose more than three months of their academic calendar.

Business is also affected as shopkeepers observe a self-imposed shutdown to protest India’s move.

The 100-day lockdown also saw intermittent episodes of violence. Workers from outside Kashmir were killed by suspected rebels last month. Several grenade attacks, one of which killed a non-local civilian in Srinagar, were also reported from across the valley.

The following photographs depict the life of Kashmiri people suffering under the crippling 100-day lockdown.

Paramilitary troops being briefed at Srinagar's Lal Chowk area on the morning of August 5, the day the Parliament of India abrogated Article 370. Thousands of troops were sent in anticipation of protests from the Kashmiris against the decision. The disputed region was turned into a fortress with armed troops manning every nook and corner. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Paramilitary troops being briefed at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk area on the morning of August 5, the day the Parliament of India abrogated Article 370. Thousands of troops were sent in anticipation of protests from the Kashmiris against the decision. The disputed region was turned into a fortress with armed troops manning every nook and corner. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Two days before India scrapped Article 370, panic gripped workers belonging to other Indian states after the federal government issued an advisory asking them as well as the tourists, Hindu pilgrims and students to vacate the region immediately. Amid confusion and chaos, thousands of non-locals thronged to a tourist reception centre in Srinagar in order to leave the valley. 'I am seriously not willing to leave this paradise on earth. I felt in love with Kashmir and its people the day I came here to earn livelihood,' carpenter Shubham Sarkar had said in August. 'Due to the situation, I have no other option but to return to my hometown.' [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Two days before India scrapped Article 370, panic gripped workers belonging to other Indian states after the federal government issued an advisory asking them as well as the tourists, Hindu pilgrims and students to vacate the region immediately. Amid confusion and chaos, thousands of non-locals thronged to a tourist reception centre in Srinagar in order to leave the valley. ‘I am seriously not willing to leave this paradise on earth. I felt in love with Kashmir and its people the day I came here to earn livelihood,’ carpenter Shubham Sarkar had said in August. ‘Due to the situation, I have no other option but to return to my hometown.’ MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Fearing mass protests, the curfew in Kashmir was tightened ahead of Eid al-Adha which was observed on August 11. 'In my lifetime, it was for the second instance when we Kashmiris have not been allowed to offer Eid prayers in a large gathering. Police had told area heads not to offer Eid prayers openly but in small groups in mosques,' resident Mohammad Ramzan said. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Fearing mass protests, the curfew in Kashmir was tightened ahead of Eid al-Adha which was observed on August 11. ‘In my lifetime, it was for the second instance when we Kashmiris have not been allowed to offer Eid prayers in a large gathering. Police had told area heads not to offer Eid prayers openly but in small groups in mosques,’ resident Mohammad Ramzan said. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Kashmiri women chanting pro-freedom slogans after Eid al-Adha prayers in Srinagar's Anchar. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Kashmiri women chanting pro-freedom slogans after Eid al-Adha prayers in Srinagar’s Anchar. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Bunkers and barricades were erected overnight in schools and colleges as troops occupied educational institutions across the valley. While the government announced their opening, parents said they were apprehensive about sending their children to schools amid the clampdown. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Bunkers and barricades were erected overnight in schools and colleges as troops occupied educational institutions across the valley. While the government announced their opening, parents said they were apprehensive about sending their children to schools amid the clampdown. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
There has been an unprecedented use of pellet guns by the Indian forces to curb protests in the Kashmir valley. Pellets fired upon unarmed protesters cause severe injuries and even blindness. Scores of people, including young boys and children, have been injured since August 5. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
There has been an unprecedented use of pellet guns by the Indian forces to curb protests in the Kashmir valley. Pellets fired upon unarmed protesters cause severe injuries and even blindness. Scores of people, including young boys and children, have been injured since August 5. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Pelting of stones at downtown Srinagar's Habba Kadal area, which witnessed clashes between young boys and Indian security forces. Stone-pelting is the most common form of resistance in the region as young Kashmiris throw rocks at the forces and shout pro-freedom slogans. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Pelting of stones at downtown Srinagar’s Habba Kadal area, which witnessed clashes between young boys and Indian security forces. Stone-pelting is the most common form of resistance in the region as young Kashmiris throw rocks at the forces and shout pro-freedom slogans. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Parveena, mother of Aqib Rafiq Wani, a detained management student from Shopian, said: 'I get flashbacks of the night when my son was taken away by the Indian forces. I am waiting for the moment when he will be returned to me.' Wani was arrested on August 8 in a midnight raid at his house. He has been lodged in a jail outside Kashmir under the stringent Public Safety Act. Indian authorities arrested an estimated 13,000 boys in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, according to a fact-finding report by a team of five women activists who visited the region recently. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Parveena, mother of Aqib Rafiq Wani, a detained management student from Shopian, said: ‘I get flashbacks of the night when my son was taken away by the Indian forces. I am waiting for the moment when he will be returned to me.’ Wani was arrested on August 8 in a midnight raid at his house. He has been lodged in a jail outside Kashmir under the stringent Public Safety Act. Indian authorities arrested an estimated 13,000 boys in Jammu and Kashmir since August 5, according to a fact-finding report by a team of five women activists who visited the region recently. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir, an apple orchard owner and resident of Kremshore village in Budgam district, claims he used to sell a box of apples for 1,000 rupees ($14) to an Indian trader. But after the abrogation of Article 370, he says that the cost halved. 'Our business is running in a huge loss since India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,' he said. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir, an apple orchard owner and resident of Kremshore village in Budgam district, claims he used to sell a box of apples for 1,000 rupees ($14) to an Indian trader. But after the abrogation of Article 370, he says that the cost halved. ‘Our business is running in a huge loss since India abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir,’ he said. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Unidentified people destroyed apple boxes that were supposed to be sent outside the Kashmir valley. Such incidents were reported from several districts of Jammu and Kashmir state after a call to boycott trade with Indian businessmen. Three non-local truck drivers and five workers were shot dead in southern Kashmir last month. The apple industry is the backbone of Kashmir's economy and involves about 3.5 million people. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Unidentified people destroyed apple boxes that were supposed to be sent outside the Kashmir valley. Such incidents were reported from several districts of Jammu and Kashmir state after a call to boycott trade with Indian businessmen. Three non-local truck drivers and five workers were shot dead in southern Kashmir last month. The apple industry is the backbone of Kashmir’s economy and involves about 3.5 million people. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
Reports say there has been a rise in mental health-related problems among the residents in Kashmir region. Psychologists say the lockdown has caused mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, depression and other related issues. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
Reports say there has been a rise in mental health-related problems among the residents in Kashmir region. Psychologists say the lockdown has caused mental health problems such as anxiety, stress, depression and other related issues. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
As education suffered, people in several parts of the Kashmir valley opened free tuition centres to help the students. 'I along with three of my friends requested several parents to send their wards to get education free of cost. It was challenging to persuade the parents that they will be taking the responsibility of the safety of their children," said Bilal Ahmad, a teacher from Charar-e-Sharif area. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
As education suffered, people in several parts of the Kashmir valley opened free tuition centres to help the students. ‘I along with three of my friends requested several parents to send their wards to get education free of cost. It was challenging to persuade the parents that they will be taking the responsibility of the safety of their children,” said Bilal Ahmad, a teacher from Charar-e-Sharif area. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA
A Srinagar man receiving emergency treatment at a city hospital after he was hit by grenade splinters. Grenade attacks in Srinagar have occurred whenever the markets witnessed a rise in the movement of the people. 'I had gone to purchase essential goods when a grenade exploded in Srinagar's central market. I collapsed and found myself in the hospital,' said Mohammad Younis. Over a hundred people have been injured in recent grenade attacks in the valley. [Mukhtar Zahoor/Al Jazeera]
A Srinagar man receiving emergency treatment at a city hospital after he was hit by grenade splinters. Grenade attacks in Srinagar have occurred whenever the markets witnessed a rise in the movement of the people. ‘I had gone to purchase essential goods when a grenade exploded in Srinagar’s central market. I collapsed and found myself in the hospital,’ said Mohammad Younis. Over a hundred people have been injured in recent grenade attacks in the valley. MUKHTAR ZAHOOR/AL JAZEERA

The article first appeared in AL JAZEERA.

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