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Kashmir shuts down to protest India’s Republic Day

Streets deserted in Jammu and Kashmir amid shutdown, heavy deployment of troops

Hilal Mir   | 26.01.2020
Kashmir shuts down to protest India’s Republic Day

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir

A shutdown was observed in Jammu and Kashmir as a mark of protest against India’s Republic Day on Sunday.

These strikes for the past 30 years have been one of several forms of Kashmiri resentment against the Indian rule.

In order to quell possible protests, Indian authorities suspended phone and internet services which had been restored only a day earlier.

Troops were deployed to check cars at several checkpoints across the state capital Srinagar.

Kashmiris living in the Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir observed the day as Black Day.

Rallies were held in Kotli, Neelum Valley and Muzaffarabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar and other cities, according to state-run Pakistan Television.

"Isn't it shameful that despite usurping int'lly acknowledged basic democratic right2self determination of Kashmiris for 72yrs n unleashing terror on its own [Muslim]citizens under cover of a discriminatory citizenship law India observes RepublicDay on Jan26? For us, its #BlackDay," Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider tweeted.

Kashmir is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed both in full. A small sliver of Kashmir is also held by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, the two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 -- two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups in Jammu and Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

According to several human rights organizations, thousands of people have reportedly been killed in the conflict in the region since 1989.

*Islamuddin Sajid contributed to this story from Islamabad.

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