Contested Kashmir in a Choke Hold

India's government scrapped long-disputed Kashmir's special status earlier this week, citing terrorism concerns and paving the way for tighter control—and drawing sharp protest from rival Pakistan.

India also moved tens of thousands of troops in the area, detained leaders and imposed a communications blackout, the BBC reports. The crackdown reduced residents “to digging out old radio sets to tune in to the news,” according to CNN.
 
Human rights groups warn the blackout could also prevent dissemination of reports about abuses.
 
UN spokesperson Rupert Colville expressed the UN’s concerns on Twitter; he pointed to a July report documenting “how authorities have repeatedly blocked communications networks to muzzle dissent, used arbitrary detention to punish political dissidents and employed excessive force while dealing with protests leading to extra judicial killings and serious injuries.”

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