Amid e-curfew in Kashmir, protests continue

Srinagar: Debunking the official theory that banning the social media will help maintain “law and order” in the Valley and restore “peace and tranquillity”, protests, mainly carried out by school and college students, erupted in various districts on Thursday, even as social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp remain inaccessible in the Valley.

Protests and clashes were witnessed in Pulwama town after teenage school boys hit the streets to demand the release of their classmates who were arrested by the police on Wednesday, reports said.

Reports also came from Kupwara where youth held an anti-India protest after two militants stormed an army camp in Panzgam area of the frontier district in a pre-dawn fidayeen attack. Three army personnel, including an officer, died in the attack. The two militants, too, were killed during the exchange of gunfire.

Three army personnel, including an officer, died in the attack. The two militants, too, were killed during the exchange of gunfire and the locals were demanding the mortal remains fo the duo.

However, police resorted to teargas shelling on the protesters, triggering clashes.

In Sopore, college students protested against the alleged high-handedness of police in Iqbal market, triggering a shutdown in the area.

The one-month ban from April 27 on social media in the Valley after an upsurge in street protests was criticised by the international media, social activists and authors, terming the move to hide “war crimes”.

“Owing to its geopolitical isolation, Kashmir heavily relies on internet communications with outside world.  A whole population has suddenly been iron-curtained,” Arjimand Hussain Talib, a Kashmir-based writer, told TRT World. 

Gul Wani, a Valley-based political analyst, was told Al Jazeera, “[The ban] is to control the political space. The government is trying to control things in a military way which is not going to help.”

 

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