Kashmir chaos: India to lock down biggest city for Eid as anger swells among protestors

Tensions in the region have hit boiling point in recent days, with security forces deciding to shut the city of Srinagar to prevent violence on Muslims biggest celebration. Shops were left boarded shut, with slogans such as India go back and we want freedom plastered on the walls. 

Some parliamentary officials and police chiefs were referring to the restrictions around the city as a curfew, but senior government officials slammed the claims. 

Speaking to Reuters, one said: “It was decided that the restrictions would be imposed on Eid to prevent gatherings that could turn violent.” 

Communications have also been blocked for an eighth consecutive day, with residents unable to access regular internet or make calls to concerned relatives. 

The sombre mood has destroyed families plans for the often jubilant Eid celebrations, with many skipping the usual animal slaughtering. 

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Blockades have been put into place to stop violence (Image: Getty)

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The blockades were to stop violence across the religious Eid festival (Image: Getty)

Aneesa Shafi, an elderly Srinagar resident, said: “What are we celebrating? I can’t call my relatives to wish them Eid, we can’t go out to buy things. So, what kind of celebration is this?”

The region has been hotly contested between India and Pakistan, but violence has reached breaking point over the last few days. 

Last week, India decided to revoke the regions special status which had been in place for almost 70 years. 

The status gave autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir. The regions could therefore make own laws when it came to matters such as property ownership and citizenship. 

The decision has prompted widespread chaos and violence on the streets of Pakistan, with those in the Kashmir region also hitting back against the move.

READ MORE: Pakistan suspends trade with India and scrambles military in fury 

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Shops in the region have been forced to close (Image: Getty)

Indian Prime Minister Nareena Modi claimed the move to repeal Pakistani benefits would be prosperous for the region, but some protestors slammed back. 

Asifa, an 18-year-old protester in Kashmir, said: “Modi is lying to his people that the removal of special status of Kashmir is good for us.

“We will resist it til our last breath.” 

Video footage emerged of police firing weapons and using tear gas on angry citizens, but despite this, Indian officials said the protest never took place.

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But the conflict has ruined people’s festivities (Image: Reuters)

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Tensions have boiled over since India withdrew the regions special status (Image: Reuters)

Eyewitnesses also reported stones were lobbed at officials over the weekend, with the Home Ministry confirming some isolated incidents had taken place to an insignificant level. 

The crisis has been devastating for those in Pakistan, with many joining in marches slamming the move. 

Generations upon generations of families were seen in the country’s Islamabad capital, while some burned down effigies of Indian leader Modi. 

Thousands of protestors were seen waving anti-India banners, with signs declaring save humanity and save Kashmir. 

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Road blocks have been put in place (Image: Reuters )

One protestor told Sky News: “Yes, we are angry here. We don’t want to fight. The last option is to fight, but if we have to, we will get Kashmir by the sword, by ammunition and guns.”

Pakistani chiefs say India’s decision is illegal and hit back by axing a daily friendship bus service between Lahore and New Delhi. 

Two rail links between the two nations have also been cut, trade has suspended and India’s ambassador to Pakistan has been sacked. 

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Protesters plastered graffiti on walls around the city (Image: Reuters )

With tensions increasing, Pakistan has needed to look to their neighbours for support. 

China and Turkey have backed the nation, with a Chinese spokesman urging India to abide by their agreements. 

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister headed to Beijing for talks with Chinese officials in further proof an alliance could be on the cards. 

source: express.co.uk