Letters Of Sorrow: Kashmir

In neat cursive handwriting, a woman from Delhi wrote a letter to friends in Indian-administered Kashmir last month.

She had visited them on a holiday in July. Now, she was desperately trying to find out how they were doing.

"Alas, such cruel times," the woman wrote along single-space, dark black lines.

"The night is darkest before the dawn and the dawn is yet to arrive." She signed off as "terribly broken hearted."

The reason for such anguish was obvious.

'Black hole'
The troubled region where some 10 million people live had been placed under a security lockdown on 5 August, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped it of its autonomy and downgraded its status.

The isolation is exacerbated by an unprecedented communications blockade: landline phones, mobiles and the internet were suspended. Kashmir sunk into what a local editor called an "information black hole".

More than a month later - apart from the restoration of what the government claims to be 80% of landline phones - the blockade remains in place.

- Read More: bbc.com


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