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Curfew in Kashmir as protests feared on clampdown anniversary

A curfew has been imposed on Indian-administered Kashmir's main city of Srinagar and adjoining areas for 48 hours beginning on Tuesday, officials said.

A curfew has been imposed on Indian-administered Kashmir‘s main city of Srinagar and adjoining areas for 48 hours beginning on Tuesday, officials said.

The curfew in Srinagar district was needed, a senior police official said, as intelligence inputs had suggested there could be violent acts and protests on the first anniversary of the removal of a special status for the region.

On August 5, 2019, India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in a controversial move abrogated laws that gave the Muslim-majority region greater autonomy.

This meant the region would no longer have its own constitution or flag and Kashmiris would no longer have the exclusive right to own land in the region.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was also split into two federally-administered territories.

Hundreds of local politicians and activists were detained and thousands of troops flown in to enforce a clampdown on movement and communications to stem any violent protests or backlash in the restive region.

The disputed region has seen a deadly secessionist movement since the early 1980s and has been the cause of three wars between India and Pakistan.

Many of the detained politicians have since been released and restrictions on movement and communications eased.

Srinagar police had received a series of inputs “suggesting that separatist and Pakistan-sponsored groups are planning to observe August 5, 2020, as a Black Day,” deputy commissioner of police Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said in an order.

“There are specific inputs about violent protests endangering public life and property,” the order said.

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