In Pictures: Night raids, arrests amid Kashmir lockdown

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Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – The Himalayan region of Kashmir, one of the most militarised regions in the world, is claimed by both India and Pakistan, who administer parts of it.

On August 5, India revoked the partial autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir state and divided the Muslim-majority state into two territories to be controlled by the federal government.

An additional 35,000 paramilitary troops, above the 700,000 already stationed in the region, were flown into the Kashmir valley ahead of the revocation.

The unprecedented moves were justified as facilitating development in the troubled region, where a popular movement for independence from the Indian rule or a merger with Pakistan has been going on for decades. 

In the weeks since Kashmir’s lockdown, hundreds of elected politicians, activists and trade unionists have been imprisoned or put under “house arrest”. Thousands of young men – including minors – have been arrested in night raids by the police, with many transported to jails outside the state.

Despite criticism from the human rights organisations, India says its actions are legal under the strict emergency laws in place in Kashmir since an armed rebellion began there in 1989.

The photos here show the effects of the forced disappearances of young men on their families and how the communities in Kashmir are responding to – and resisting – the crackdown.


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