Tensions Continue High Over Kashmir, With 500 Arrests And A Communications Blackout

Indian security forces check the identity of a motorist in Srinagar, Indian-controlled Kashmir, on Thursday. – Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images

As tensions continued high between India and Pakistan over the disputed region of Kashmir, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday his government’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status marked “a new era” that would free the region of “terrorism and separatism.”

“I fully believe that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will move forward with fresh hopes, dreams and motivations,” Modi said, using the full name of the Indian state, which is being converted into a union territory to be ruled directly from New Delhi.

His address to the nation on Thursday was Modi’s first public statement since the government revoked Kashmir’s constitutionally guaranteed special status on Monday, sparking outcry and unrest over the divided Himalayan territory, which both India and Pakistan claim in its entirety. It came amid news of hundreds of arrests in the Muslim-majority region, which is now in its fourth day of a communications blackout.

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