October 06, 2019
In Indian occupied Kashmir, the lockdown continues on the 63rd consecutive day, today, with all shops, main markets and educational institutions continue to remain shut and public transport off the road in Kashmir valley and parts of Jammu region. As Kashmir getting into the third month of the crisis triggered by the August 5 decision of abrogation of special status and downgrading of the Jammu and Kashmir, normal life remains paralyzed in the territory. The train that runs between Baramulla and Banihal continues to be frozen for more than nine weeks now. Internet connectivity stands closed to the commoners and the media. As a result of communications lockdown, two months after arrest, family of 33-year-old suffering from cancer has no idea if he is alive or getting treatment. Muhammad Ayoub Pala, 60, is unsure whether his cancer-stricken son arrested in August is dead or alive.
Meanwhile, authorities made two efforts in the past nine weeks to reopen the schools. On both the occasions, the students did not come to schools. Officials admit that the students are not turning up. Students preparing for professional courses or major examinations have suffered a lot because of the lack of communication. Some of them, who are enrolled with a few coaching centres, have actually migrated to Jammu for the time being.
The life in Kashmir periphery continues to be dull. The residents of Kashmir valley are facing severe hardships due to shortage of essential commodities due to continued blockade and fast approaching winter. The opening of Jamia Masjid is considered to be the absolute parameter of normalcy, but it has not seen any Friday gathering for the past nine weeks. In certain areas people have been able to harvest the apple but mostly it is still on the trees in Shopian, Pulwama and parts of Kulgam. If the apple picking does not pick up quickly, it can have serious impact on the economy of Kashmir that will last for more than a year. On the other hand, a former PDP worker, Sajad Hussain Mantoo, was injured in firing by unknown attackers in Islamabad district. Mantoo received bullet injuries in his abdomen and thigh and was rushed to the district hospital, the police said, adding that his condition is stated to be stable.