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Kashmir Crisis: Eight Weeks After Article 370 was Scrapped

Erratic communication and internet blackout continues to clog people’s lives in Kashmir. How long is the government going to continue this in the name of ‘peace’?

Abdul Gani, a daily wage laborer in Ramban district, Jammu has not been able to get work since the brutal lockdown was imposed in Kashmir. “If someone goes for labor work, or the 100 days wage work, we go to the block they say that net is closed.. net is closed. We the poor are suffering a big loss, because of the removal of the internet”, stated Abdul.

Kashmir has been facing a communication blackout for the past 57 days, with no mobile phones and internet services. This has brought everyday’s lives of people to a halt. Money transactions, work, schools and colleges, communication, medical facilities and nearly everything which require language is potentially suppressed.
Prithvi, an advocate, living in Ramban district, signifies the importance of the internet. He said, “we have to show our recent judgments to our judges, to our court, for that too we are dependent on internet”.

The government has restored landline connectivity, but very few people can avail it. Mobile services are still barred. Internet services are available only on BSNL broadband. Arjun Singh, who is from a Khidmat center, explains, that the internet is so slow that they have to wait for hours for something which otherwise takes only a minute. “A lot of people are suffering a lot, and we are losing on work. Other things like students have to fill online forms, apply online for admission, etc, that too is not done on time,” added Arjun.

It took five days for Tahir Mushtaq, our Community Correspondent to upload this report. Amidst conflicts and communication breakdown, the voices of people like Prithvi, Arjun, and Abdul Gani are stabbing the silence which has been forced on Jammu and Kashmir.
But the question remains, for how long, till they speak again.

Video is made by Community Correspondent Tahir Mushtaq

Article by Grace Jolliffe, a Member of VV Editorial Team. 

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