HELD SRINAGAR: As the curfew in India Held Kashmir (IHK) entered on the 31st on Wednesday, life has become more miserable after the shortage of food and medicine. According to the KMS, the Kashmir Valley remains separated from the rest of the world since August 5 due to the continuous blocking and suspension of Internet, mobile and fixed telephony services and the closure of television channels.
The worst kind of humanitarian crisis is looming on the horizon of the occupied territory, as people face a severe shortage of food, medicine and other products.
Hospitals face a shortage of drug stocks, while staff have difficulty fulfilling duty due to curfew and restrictions imposed after India eliminated the special state of Jammu and Kashmir a month ago.
IHK entrepreneurs are also looking to a bleak future and commercial establishments have not yet resumed their normal activities for a full month. Merchants say that conducting routine business is impossible in the absence of mobile and internet services.
The repression has severely affected trade between the Jammu region and the Kashmir valley with manufacturers and merchants who cannot recover payments. The industries in Jammu have suffered an estimated financial loss of around Rs 500 million, as they do not receive orders and cannot recover payments from the Valley and other districts.
The restrictions have also negatively affected the tourism industry, one of the main sources of livelihood, in the occupied territory. Empty houseboats, empty hotels and desert resorts present a bleak picture of the Kashmir tourism sector.
However, Tourism Department officials said the department has no record of tourist arrivals in August. Given that there is almost no scope of tourism in the territory, air fares for traveling in and out of Kashmir continue to register a drastic decline. The price of private tickets to travel in and out of Kashmir has registered a record drop in the last month since article 370 was repealed and restrictions were imposed.
Air tickets are currently priced at Rs 1,800 to travel from New Delhi to Kashmir.
Indian police forces have already begun trial versions of the use of drones for surveillance. Drones have been tested in some areas of Srinagar in the first phase and are also being used in other districts to view activities and capture photos and videos of people participating in the protests.
“All these videos are stored in a central database and the same information is used for references and strategies to address activities in favor of freedom,” said a senior official on condition of anonymity.