As life in the longest block in the world

As life in the longest block in the world

Shortly before the whole world in the block went Kashmir came from. Earlier in the year preceding the coup crown, the Indian government had been slow, restrictions on movement and communication point that it had imposed in August 2019 when a long stripped of cashmere held constitutional autonomy and imposed direct rule from Delhi. Here in India only Muslim majority area, residents were confined to their homes by soldiers patrolling the streets of the Kashmir valley. The Hindu nationalist government in Delhi also cut off the telephone lines and Internet connections. cut the end of January, after nearly six months in the world, he won the Kashmir valley to access a list of places approved by the state on 2G Internet. Then, in early March, broadband has been restored and some local politicians were released from prison. But it was found shortly after the first case of COVID-19 later in Kashmir in March, the bulk region was resurfaced with new rules on the movement and social gatherings. Mosques, usually five times a day for prayer, are empty and closed markets. Since May 4, the region has only 701 confirmed cases and eight deaths out of a population of 12.5 million. seem to have worked even if the measures when it comes to the exponential spread of the virus to the bus, the costs have been difficult. As people have moved around the world their living online in response to lockdowns than addressing mechanism it is virtually impossible in Kashmir due 4G Internet is cut off, apparently to prevent fighters of planning attacks. India off the Internet more than any other democracy in the world, and the government over tactics turn became more regular in recent years. No State had limited its access to Jammu and Kashmir, who lived alone in 2019 55 Internet blackout, including the longest when Delhi set the valley en masse in history, 213 days in August. India Supreme Court of New Delhi will soon decide whether access to 4G will be restored. But the organization on April 30 the government of Delhi Kashmir revolt against the idea of ​​the court, saying that the “right to access the Internet, it is not a fundamental right”, and argued that “many terrorists based in Pakistan clothes “he would take advantage of 4G internet to plan attacks when high speeds have been restored. That despite the judges of the Supreme Court in January that the Indians’ fundamental rights “due to the freedom of speech and expression that their use of the Internet expands – albeit briefly explain Internet access remained a constitutionally protected right. However, despite months of effort and distrust of authority imposing such harsh measures Lockdown in August, it is accepting Kashmiris largely the new block in the hope that one will prevent the devastating spread of the disease. “The blockade in August was against our agreement. The authorities were barbaric” during these months, says Tasaduq, a businessman of 34 years, who are asked only identified by his name, because it is dependent by the local government to be able to work freely in Srinagar, the summer capital of the region. Now Tasaduq says the mood is very different, especially since people are now allowed to buy basic necessities. “People choose to stay at home. There is no consensus.” Doctors say that the Internet restrictions on public health have a negative effect, even if they have to rely on slower 2G connections, the latest medical studies and consulting for download. “Why COVID-19, about new research is” a doctor said that in a district hospital, who spoke on condition of anonymity because doctors were threatened with jail to speak with reporters. “Every day there is something about the virus, we need to keep up with the knowledge of our research, but we are not able to access properly due to 2G speeds capable.” Even a simple file, such as a 10- can last hours of the PDF document to download, says the doctor. “It ‘s very difficult when you want to access new research.” Doctors say that now rely heavily on messages from colleagues through WhatsApp for viruses passed on information. There is widespread misinformation, it is making it difficult for them to know what messages are reliable and which are not. The doctors are also not to join that has a useful tool for research professors in laboratories for Share on the virus with physicians in the front, the latest information may live webinar. “You can not come because of low internet speed” them, says Dr. Suhail Naik, president of the Order of Doctors of Kashmir. “Right now our hospitals are functioning normally, but if the crisis deepens, we do not know if we can handle it.” And the authorities still hard to crack down on dissent with a doctor’s call for protection of the public in a remote hospital in Jammu convey. Others were threatened with losing their jobs if they raise concerns, according to doctors who spoke at the time. “The attitude of the authorities, as we did for this paper signed, to die,” said one. “Our health care infrastructure is very weak.” At least one doctor has tested positive for the virus is not given sufficient protection, it is told at the time. For some, the repressive measures are a sign that the priorities of the Indian government in Kashmir are not affected by the pandemic. “Any government that is willing to impose the closure of Internet longest in the history just to the right of censorship and surveillance believes,” says Mishi Choudhary, the legal director of the Software Freedom Law Center, a group that campaigns for freedom of Internet. This point of view is also echoed on the floor. “The only transition the change in terminology,” said one aid worker who declined to be named, to avoid the impact, affecting its organization. “It ‘done everything in crippling dissent. This pandemic has been an extension of the same lockdowns; Nothing has changed on the ground. People are still persecuted and journalists muzzled.” One of these journalists is Masrat Zahra, a photojournalist based Srinagar, April 18 for “Upload anti-national contributions with criminal intent” in social media and “Upload Photos was raised in an anti-terrorism law that cause the public to the law and order disturbances.” She says that the Indian government cracking of local journalists to curb freedom of expression in the valley. “Personally, I find them I was invited to send a strong message throughout the journalist fraternity in Kashmir,” says TIME. “The message was pretty black and white – if they could book a journalist, imagine what they could do to journalists male. There are few journalists here. They intimidate and harass us.” The effect, he says, that people talk with journalists fear so that Kashmir even less visible to the rest of the world. And although almost everything else has stopped in the valley, militant activity has not. according to Indian officials in recent episodes of violence on Sunday and Monday, eight Indian security personnel and two suspected militants were killed in firefights in Handwara town. One child was reportedly killed in the crossfire. Overall, at least 105 people have been killed this year, including nine civilians, according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, a group that tracks the conflict. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the authorities have begun to bury the militants from their homes, and thus prevent the funeral – Big events often politically loaded that can serve as the settings for militant groups. The government says the move part of its broader ban on all public meetings, but before the last of August bloc had the Indian government planning options, has begun to reduce the size of the funeral. In addition to measures that part of the population, the pandemic has also alienated to increase the opening by the authorities created public confidence. Thousands of Ramadan ration kits will be distributed by the government to the people in need in some parts of the valley. And on Thursday, the students to help struggling their studies to lead to slow Internet connections, announced the Union Minister Jitendra Singh that the state authorities have set up special classes instead be televised. Still, the lessons appear lockdown of the longest world below about the epidemiology as democracy itself. It can be robbed in the 21st century, in the midst of a global pandemic, 8 million people access to education “, living, entertainment and recovery of mental health in a way that was an essential services for the rest of the world, “says Choudhary. “Democracies can kill switch and remove all human rights”.
Picture copyright by Ahmer Khan

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