News   /   More   /   Reports

Kashmiris skeptic of India’s promises of equal rights

A Kashmiri boy displays a placard from a window at a protest site after Friday prayers during restrictions, after scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, August 23, 2019. (Photo by Reuters)

Shahana Butt
Press TV, Kashmir

After New Delhi scrapped Kashmir’s autonomous status on august 5, it promised equal rights, opportunity and development in return. However, people of Kashmir are skeptic of their promises.

Fearing demographic changes in the Muslim-majority region, hundreds of non-local work forces were forced to leave the valley after some locals asked them to evacuate.

Mansoor, a tailor from India’s state of Uttar Pradesh, has been living in Kashmir for almost 8 years now. His children go to a local school and his wife helps him at the workshop. Mansoor says he has no plans of going back.

The special status or article 370 prohibited non-residents from permanently settling or buying land or property in Kashmir.

New Delhi’s move of scrapping Kashmir’s autonomous status has brought the region under its direct control and this has triggered fears that the Indian government might start creating settlements for non-residents and grant them permanent residency in this Muslim-majority region, thus affecting demography of the only Muslim state of India.

Thousands of workers, mostly tailors, barbers, painters, carpenters, masons and laborers would travel to Kashmir each year for work, but this year has not been good for them at all, as they had to return after New Delhi asked its residents to go back.

Local administration here has helped many non-local workers by providing bus service out of the valley region.

Indian-ruled Kashmir is observing a complete protest close down, communication blackout and security clampdown since august 5, after New Delhi ended Kashmir's autonomous status. Despite New Delhi’s efforts to restore normalcy, the people here are reluctant to start afresh and expect New Delhi to restore the autonomous status of the disputed territory.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku