SRINAGAR – Bureaucrat-turned-politician Shah Faesal said Kashmir is experiencing an unprecedented lock-down ahead of the Centre’s scrapping of Article 370 and bifurcation the valley into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. He said it was not possible to even contact leaders like Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Sajad Lone.
Taking to Facebook, Faesal said, “Kashmir is experiencing an unprecedented lock-down. From Zero Bridge to Airport some movement of vehicles is visible. Other places are completely out of bounds. Except for patients or those with a curfew pass. It was not possible to reach Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Sajad Lone or send a message to them”.
“In other Districts curfew is all the more strict. You can say that the entire 8 million population has been incarcerated like never before,” he added.
An update. —-Kashmir is experiencing an unprecedented lock-down. From Zero Bridge to Airport some movement of…
The former IAS officer also said, “As of now there is no shortage of food and essentials. My sources in Administration told me that Sat Phones given to officers are being used to coordinate the civil supplies. No other means of communication is available. Those with Dish TV have access to news. Cable services are down. Many people still have a bleak idea of what happened. Radio was working till a few hours ago. Most people are watching DD. National media is also not being allowed to move into interior areas. LD hospital is functioning beyond its capacity as expecting women are getting admitted days in advance to avoid any last moment hassels. Some people are planning to run langars there.”
Asserting that no violent incident has been reported so far, Faesal said, “Random incidents of stone-throwing were reported from Rambagh, Natipora, Downtown, Kulgam, Anantnag. But no news of any killings.”
Talking about how Kashmiris are reacting to the development, Faesal added, “People are in shock. Numb. Yet to make sense of what befell them. Everyone is mourning what we lost. In my conversations with people besides 370, it’s the loss of statehood that has hurt people deeply. This is being seen as the biggest betrayal by the Indian state in the last 70 years.”
Faesal asked people to stay alive in order to fight back. “Few leaders who have escaped detention called for calm through TV channels. It is being said that the government is ready for a casualty figure of 8 – 10 thousand. So sanity demands that we don’t give anyone a chance for mass massacre. My appeal has also been that let’s stay alive, then we shall fight back.”
He also said that people should avoid travelling to Kashmir to Kashmir to avoid any untoward incident. “The body language of forces personnel manning the nakas is extremely harsh. JKP is totally sidelined. One guy told an acquaintance of mine that now we are going to show your place to you. Such stories of locals being bullied have reached me from many places. But its extremely heartening that Kashmiris are staying calm. Those who wish to travel to Kashmir should avoid doing it for some time.”
Slamming the decision, Faesal said that all ‘Opposition parties are together on challenging these unconstitutional laws that have deprived us of our history and identity’. “Even if the curfew is relaxed, the situation will remain extremely volatile. At airport, I met crowds of heartbroken youth asking me questions about what should we do now. I said we shall go to the Supreme Court together and ask for reversing this injustice.”
“As of now, that’s the only hope. The international community has shut its eyes. So I am not expecting anything from there. The sad fact of life is that only Narendra Modi and Amit Shah can one day give back to us the wealth that has been stolen from us in broad daylight. But then what’s lost has been lost. Or Perhaps everything has been lost. Except our resolve to fight back. And we shall,” Faesal added.