On Thursday, the fourth day after the Narendra Modi government announced the abrogation of Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, restrictions have still not been lifted and there have been few ground reports from the region.
Authorities suspended internet and mobile services in several areas from Sunday night and banned public gatherings in Srinagar district under Section 144. The shutdown, as this HuffPost India report points out, means that the rest of the country has little idea what is happening in Kashmir.
Some reports, like HuffPost India’s account of the first casualty in Kashmir after the decision on Article 370, have started trickling in (mostly sent by reporters after much effort or written by journalists who have returned from Kashmir), but local media organisations are yet to update their websites, and the social media channels of Kashmiris remain silent. Kashmiris outside the state have been frantically asking for news of their families back home.
The last reports on Kashmir’s local news websites are from 4 or 5 August, just before the internet was snapped. Here’s a look at how the homepages of major news websites look on Thursday:
What’s happening to journalists in Kashmir?
Local journalists, reports Al-Jazeera, have described their struggle since Monday to get information out as “unprecedented”.
Al-Jazeera quoted Sanna Irshad Mattoo, a multimedia journalist working for a local news organisation, as saying, “The forces clearly said they have orders not to allow any journalist to move. The distance which I could cover in five minutes took more than half an hour because of the checkpoints and barricades.”
In a report in The Indian Express on Wednesday, Muzamil Jaleel, Bashaarat Masood and Adil Akhzer wrote, “For the last two days, The Indian Express reporters have been holed up in their office from where they walk around to meet residents and then return. In the office building itself, dozens of policemen have moved in, the corridors their temporary shelter.”