Some three weeks after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi controversially stripped Indian-controlled Kashmir of its autonomous status, the Muslim-majority region’s main city of Srinagar looks like a ghost town scarred with military barricades, barely breathing under a massive lockdown.
On August 5, the Indian premier, in a surprise move, revoked Article 370 in the Indian constitution that had granted Kashmir special autonomy, the most far-reaching political move on the disputed region in nearly 70 years.
The controversial move not only infuriated India’s nuclear-armed Pakistan, which controls parts of Kashmir, but also sparked strong anger among the local population, who want their region merger with Pakistan, prompting protest rallies that faced brutal police attacks.
On Saturday, little traffic movement, if any, was seen in Srinagar as security forces continue to barricade the streets using barbed wire, showing the glimpses of a tight clampdown New Delhi imposed on the city.
Kashmir has been split between India and Pakistan since their partition from Britain in 1947. Both countries claim all of Kashmir and have fought three wars over the territory.