Jammu and Kashmir remained under severe military siege for 56th consecutive day on Saturday.

SRINAGAR (Dunya News) – After becoming aware of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s historic speech in the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), favouring Kashmiris struggle in their right to self-determination and freedom from Indian oppression, hundreds of residents of Kashmir’s Soura region on Saturday morning took to streets for admiring the premier.

Jammu and Kashmir remained under severe military siege for 56th consecutive day as tens of thousands of Indian troops continue to enforce stringent curfew imposed by the Indian government in fear of uprising and anti-India protests includes travel restrictions and total communication blackout.

However, in Soura, Kashmiris chanted full-throat slogans in favour of PM Khan while holding Pakistani flags for raising their voice at the highest international forum in front of world leaders.

A Kashmiri while speaking to BBC Hindi said: “After Almighty Allah, we have our trust in Imran Khan […] we thank him for [supporting our cause].”

In his address to the UNGA, PM Khan expressed fear that Narendra Modi-led Hindu nationalist Indian government would launch a massive genocide of Kashmiris once the curfew is lifted.

Indian occupation forces have already constructed dozens of bunkers only in Srinagar and sharpshooters have been deployed at ramparts.

The Kashmir valley is under strict lockdown since August 5 when Modi-led government in New Delhi stripped occupied Kashmir of its special status by abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution through a rushed presidential decree.

The occupation authorities have converted the Kashmir valley into a military garrison by the deployment of such a large number of Indian troops and paramilitary personnel in every nook and corner of the Muslim-majority Himalayan region.

However, in several towns and areas, people defying the curfew and other restrictions have been staging protests to express their resentment and anger against nefarious move of Modi government. Hundreds of incidents of protests have been reported in the occupied territory so far during which hundreds of people have been injured by the firing of bullets, pellets and teargas shells by Indian occupation forces. A senior government official told media that dozens of people have received pellet injuries since August 5. He said that the numbers were based on records available with hospital authorities in Srinagar. The data from other hospitals of the valley was not available.

While people have been confined to their homes, the patients with critical ailments are not being allowed to move to hospitals. The medical stores and pharmacies have run out of stocks. The residents are facing immense hardships due to acute shortage of essential commodities like baby food and the valley is giving an impression of a critical humanitarian crisis. People are not being allowed to participate in the funeral prayers of their dear ones who pass away.

All internet and communication services and TV channels are closed in the Kashmir valley and in many areas of Jammu region. Local newspapers could not update their online editions while majority of them could also not hit the stands all these days due to restrictions. Schools in the Kashmir valley continue to remain shut as parents are not ready to risk the lives of their children in the prevailing grim situation.

It is also worth mentioning, that the Kashmiris are unable to stock the essential commodities for winter season. It will cost huge number of deaths even if curfew is lifted in later part of summer. The Kashmir valley remains cut off from the rest of the world due to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu Highway due to snowfall during winter.

Kashmir has been an epicenter of wars between Pakistan and India for several decades since the partition of the sub-continent in 1947 after getting independence from the British rule.

Over 13,000 Kashmiris including hundreds of political leaders and workers like Syed Ali Gilani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai continue to remain under house arrest or in jails.

Soura is a region near Srinagar where violent clashes often erupt between protesters and Indian troops during protests against New Delhi’s aggression and illegal moves.