There were signs that travel restrictions in Indian-administered Kashmir had been relaxed on Saturday in the state’s summer capital, Srinagar, where the streets were reportedly busy with people trying to buy food ahead of Eid. Landlines, mobile phones and the internet all remained blocked, however, preventing residents from calling relatives or friends.
The easing of the curfew followed major protests on Friday in which at least 10,000 people reportedly took to the streets of Srinagar to demonstrate against Delhi’s withdrawal of the special status accorded to India’s only Muslim-majority state. Police reportedly responded with teargas and rubber pellets to break up the protest, the largest to take place since the state was placed under an unprecedented communications blackout last week.
An Indian home affairs ministry official called the reports “completely fabricated and incorrect”. He said: “There have been a few stray protests in Srinagar/Baramulla and none involved more than 20 people.”
The BBC released a video appearing to show huge crowds marching through the streets of Srinagar, carrying signs that read “we want our freedom” and chanting “go back, go, India, go”. The footage shows people scattering and running for cover as police appear to open fire and use teargas.