India Escalates Crackdown on Kashmir for Eid Holiday

Lock down grows as India expects even bigger protests

Restrictions over the past eight days have been severe enough that a lot of Kashmiris have been all but confined to their homes. Indian forces went to the extent that reporters said the communications blackout meant some Kashmiris didn’t even know what was going on.

Indian forces expected that the Eid al-Adha holiday would lead to large protests in Kashmir, and in trying to prevent such demonstrations, the military imposed even more severe restrictions, including closing the largest mosque in Srinagar.

Muslims, who are the heavy majority of Kashmir, are allowed to go to mosques for the Eid, but only smaller mosques. The expectation seems to be that the largest, most influential mosque would be used to organize big protests.

That’s probably a reasonable expectation. Historically in places where governments severely restrict public assembly, people opposed to their crackdowns have used religious meeting places to organize demonstrations. Indeed, Kashmir’s largest protests of the first week came on Friday, after weekly prayers.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.