India: Kashmir stops newspaper from printing amid unrest
July 15, Srinagar: Authorities in India's portion of Kashmir have shut down printing presses and temporarily banned newspapers from publishing in a sweeping information blackout after days of anti-India protests left dozens of people dead in the volatile region.
State government spokesman and Education Minister Nayeem Akhtar said the measures were aimed at saving lives and strengthening peace efforts. The government says 36 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and security forces, while local human rights groups and newspapers say at least 40 have died, reports said.
A strict curfew was in effect in troubled areas for the ninth straight day Sunday, with hundreds of thousands of people trying to cope with shortages of food and other necessities. Tens of thousands of government troops patrolled mostly deserted streets in the region, where shops and businesses remained closed.
According to reports, Kashmir, a predominantly Muslim region, is divided evenly between India and Pakistan, but both claim it in its entirety. Most people in India's portion resent the presence of Indian troops and want independence or a merger with Pakistan.
Since 1989, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown. India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir since British colonialists left the Indian subcontinent in 1947.
The Oslo Times International News Network