Day after Article 370's axing, Kashmiris outside Valley yet to hear from home

What is worrying many of them is that no one, not even the media, knows anything about the situation on the ground.

Published: 06th August 2019 01:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th August 2019 01:15 PM   |  A+A-

Jammu and Kashmir

Security personnel stand guard during restrictions in Jammu. (Photo| PTI)

Online Desk

A day after Home Minister Amit Shah abrogated Article 370, stripped J&K of its statehood and divided the region into two Union Territories, Kashmiris in the rest of India are still to hear from their near and dear.

What is worrying many of them is that no one, not even the media, knows anything about the situation on the ground.

The government has pumped in thousands of troops (approximately 50,000 men), sealed the borders, asked tourists to leave on the pretext of a terror threat, locked down the entire region, severed any means of communication and cut off the entire Valley from the rest of the country. 

Now, 24 hours later, the people of the Valley are still bereft of any means of communication and while the rest of India is busy trumpeting their opinions on Twitter, the voices of Kashmiris remain muffled.

"I have been trying to reach out to my family for the past 30-odd hours, I have not heard anything from them. I am concerned for their well being. I have a three-year-old at home," said Sameer Yasin, a trader currently working in Kolkata.

Yasin also rued how the Indian government has betrayed the people of the Valley by abrogating Article 370.

READ| A Kashmiri writes: ‘I grew up not knowing what is the meaning of normal’

After Amit Shah made the historic declaration, the stalwarts of J&K, former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti, Omar and Farooq Abdullah were formally detained and taken to a government guest house 'Hari Niwas' in Srinagar for "possible breach of peace". This move has also irked Kashmiris.

"It is ridiculous how the Indian government has been imposing authoritarian rule on the people of the Valley. Arresting the leaders and cutting off J&K from the rest of India is extremely unprecedented. If this is not Emergency, then what is?" lamented 24-year-old Basit Sofi, a student of Delhi University.

Article 370 of the Indian Constitution gave autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir until Monday when it was scrapped by the NDA government through a Presidential order bypassing the need for a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

Sheikh Azaan, another Kashmiri living outside the Valley, had bid goodbye to his family over the phone two days ago without having any inkling about the abrogation of Article 370.

"It is because of the barbaric decisions of the Indian government that the youth in Kashmir are taking to militancy. You can't ignore the consent of the people whose lives will be directly impacted through this reorganisation. Earlier they took our peace and now they are making us landless. Is this how the Modi-Shah duo plans to bring calm in the Valley?" he asked.

Moreover, Kashmiris, especially students living outside the Valley, are apprehensive of the government's decision. 

"Narendra Modi's decision is not pro-India but anti-Kashmir. Are they not aware that when anything happens in the Valley, it is the people living outside who feel burnt? Have they forgotten what happened to us in the wake of the Pulwama attack," said Saima Rasool, a student living in Kolkata.

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