Amidst a communications blackout and restrictions on movement in Kashmir, the BBC has published a couple of videos showing sporadic protests in the Valley, with stone-pelting reported from some places.

The organisation also interviewed people in Baramulla town, 55 km from Srinagar.

Iqbal, a travel agent, spoke about how Kashmir residents had been were fooled into believing that there was a threat of a terrorist attack, which is why security had been intensified. “This is a mockery of democracy,” he said. “The government of India only wants the land of Kashmir, it does not care about its people.”

Another student named Aseem Abbas compared the situation caused by the ban on communications as going back to the “stone age”.

The Indian government had on August 5 announced the revocation of the special status of Jammu & Kashmir. A ban on more than four people gathering in a spot is in place, and all mobile, landline, and internet connections stand suspended.

Visuals from Baramulla show minimal civilian movement on the streets, with traffic mostly restricted to Army vans and vehicles fitted with loudspeakers.

“Revoking Jammu & Kashmir’s special status is like ending a marriage,” said Zahoor, a resident of Baramulla. “Shutting Jammu & Kashmir down means the government’s actions were against us,” he added.

Baramulla’s Abdul Khaliq Najar expressed concern about the timing of the decision with Eid and Independence Day around the corner. “We used to think we were free, but not anymore,” he said. “If this move is meant to be beneficial for us, the government should come out and tell us so.”

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