Eleven days after the Indian government suspended all communications in Indian-controlled Kashmir, the disputed region still has no contact with the outside world.
Millions of residents in the Kashmir Valley — one of the most militarized regions in the world — are living behind a virtual curtain. Unable to access the internet, send letters, or even make calls using a fixed line, India’s most volatile region has vanished from the modern world.
“No telephone lines are working, no internet is working, no broadband is working. There is a virtual clampdown. There is no communication link… My own office is not functioning and I am not in touch with a single bureau member in Srinagar,” said Anuradha Bhasin, executive editor of the Kashmir Times.
In an unprecedented move, the Indian government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi cut off the entire Jammu and Kashmir region at midnight on August 5. Kashmiris living outside the territory have not been able to reach friends and family.
The move was preceded by tens of thousands of Indian troops moving into the valley, establishing check points every few hundred feet and laying down coils of wire at every corner to restrict the movement of vehicles.
A curfew has forced residents to mostly stay inside their homes, stepping out only to buy medicines or basic groceries.
Officials have repeatedly said that the lockdown will be lifted in phases over the next few days but have not provided a definitive timeline, leaving the entire region in confusion. Most newspapers have been unable to report or publish information across the region, especially from rural areas.