By Hilal Mir
SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir (AA) - A near-complete lockdown by the Indian government in Jammu and Kashmir has “egregiously affected” daily lives of the people, said a report released on Wednesday.
The report was released by the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, a consortium of about 1,000 people whose kin have been subjected to enforced and involuntary disappearances in Indian-administered Kashmir.
“The indefinite curfew imposed in Kashmir in the aftermath of Article 370 is the extension of a de-facto State of Emergency, with the consequence of placing more restrictions and shackles on Kashmiri people’s human rights, and the Indian Government’s actions and orders seek to ‘normalize’ the status quo,” the report reads.
Tensions have been high since Aug. 5 when the Indian government scrapped special provisions granted to the region.
The provisions allowed citizens of India's only Muslim majority region to enact their own laws and barred outsiders from settling in or owning land in the territory.
As part of a wider crackdown, internet services have been blocked except at government-designated kiosks and key leaders detained.
The report examines how the abrogation of special laws have impacted the rights of the people, including the right to healthcare, education and religious freedom.
The curbs have led to a reduction in the number of patients visiting hospitals and thereby restricting access to healthcare.
Due to the security clampdown, the report said, various planned and critical surgeries got cancelled.
“Because of the non-availability of internet, senior consultancies from across the globe, meant for discussing cases, were not possible. Due to the blockade imposed, there was a dearth of medicines at various places, although not at all places. Mental health implications of this are unfathomable currently,” it said.
The report paints an especially grim picture of education.
“Both militancy and militarization have affected almost all aspects of the valley, but one group which has seen its impacts most adversely is students,” it said.
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.
Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.
Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.