IoK remains under military siege, curbs

SRINAGAR: Military siege and communications lockdown in the Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu region continue on 74th successive day, on Thursday, in Indian occupied Kashmir.
According to media reports, main business activities continue to remain suspended and public transport off the road even as the authorities have lifted restrictions and partially restored postpaid mobile phone services.
Similarly, rail service from Banihal to Baramulla is also suspended and attendance of employees in offices is thin while students continue to abstain from classes at all educational institutions.
Many believe that the continued shutdown is due to popular anger at India’s Aug 5 unilateral action, comparing it to a campaign of civil disobedience.
Observers say the mood in the valley continues to remain defiant, adding there is certain spontaneity with the way people have reacted. They maintain there is a lot of resentment, a sense of humiliation at the way things have been done and people have been completely disconnected from the world and each other as well.
Meanwhile, a media report says that the occupied Kashmir administration is working on a mechanism to initiate political engagement, which is likely to involve pro-India political parties. The move is expected to lead to the release of more political leaders from detention.
However, a decision about releasing former puppet Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti is not on the table yet, the report maintained, adding, the mechanism currently under discussion is likely to involve second-rung leaders from pro-India parties in the Valley to form a political council that can initiate dialogue with people and lessen their fears in the wake of the Aug 5 decisions.