On 5th August, the Indian government revoked Article 370 of its constitution which granted autonomy to the occupied state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Fearing widespread agitation by Kashmiris, the BJP-led Indian government imposed a curfew all over Jammu and Kashmir. The Modi government not only restricted the physical movement of Kashmiris but also ensured they couldn’t inform others about their suffering using digital platforms by enforcing a communication blackout.
Last Tuesday marked the 100th day of the Kashmir lockdown. Following the lockdown, economic activities in the IHK have been crippled.
According to the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the economy of the IHK has suffered losses of more than $1 billion due to the curfew. Tourism-related activities have been suspended in the region as well.
Vice President of KCCI, Nasir Khan, said that by September, the trade body calculated expected losses of more than $1.40 billion. Surely, it has gone well beyond that mark, said Khan.
Nasir Khan added that the Indian government argues that turning Jammu and Kashmir into a federally-controlled territory would spur economic growth in the region. However, curfew and communication blackout has destroyed businesses because business owners can neither travel nor contact anyone to discuss or conduct business.
KCCI representatives are planning to move to court against the BJP government to claim the damages.
Revocation of Article 370 by the Indian government drew criticism from around the world. Human rights organizations have demanded to restore Article 370 and bring an end to the curfew in Jammu and Kashmir.