20 October 2019, Sunday | 02:25am

India to lift travel advisory on Kashmir two months after crackdown

2019-10-08

 

SRINAGAR, Oct 8 — India will lift a travel advisory on the disputed region of Kashmir on Thursday, authorities said, two months after the government launched a security crackdown before removing the state's special status.

Thousands of Indian tourists, pilgrims and workers fled the Muslim-majority state in early August after authorities issued a security alert over possible militant attacks by Pakistan-backed groups, assertions rejected by Islamabad.

Telephone and internet services were suspended and public movements restricted in some areas to prevent protests hours before India announced it had revoked the region's special status.

Some curbs have since been lifted. Media reported yesterday that members of the main National Conference party were allowed to meet two senior leaders detained in the crackdown.

 

Journalists hold placards during a silent protest against the communication blockade, following the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar October 3, 2019. — Reuters pic

 

However, mobile and internet services are largely still blocked in the Kashmir valley.

The travel advisory issued on August 2 will be lifted from Thursday, the government of Jammu and Kashmir said in a statement yesterday.

Kashmir touts itself as a “Paradise on Earth” and known for its mountains, glaciers and Dal Lake, a favourite destination centuries ago for Mughal emperors escaping the summer heat of India's plains.

However, Britain and other countries still have advisories in place discouraging their citizens from travelling to Jammu and Kashmir, where a grenade attack injured 10 people on the weekend.

Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan, and both claim the territory in full. More than 40,000 people have been killed in an insurgency in the Indian part of Kashmir since 1989.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government says scrapping state's special status was necessary to integrate it fully into the rest of India and spur development. Critics say the decision will fuel further alienation and armed resistance. — Reuters

 

Source: MalayMail

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