Map of JessoreMembers of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) rescued two girls while they were being trafficked to India from bordering Putkhali Pashchimpara area of Benapole in Jessore on Monday evening, reports UNB.The rescued girls were identified as Khadiza Akter, 15, daughter of late Ainuddin, and Beauty, 13, daughter of Manzil Hossain, hailing from Kishoreganj district.Commanding officer of BGB-21 lieutenant colonel Tarikul Hakim said that acting on a tip-off they conducted a raid in the village and rescued the teenagers.They were later handed over to Benapole port police station, he added.
File PhotoThe authorities seized the Physics question paper of the SSC examinations from 50 examinees in front of Mahila Samity High School in Chittagong on Tuesday morning.Executive magistrate Syed Murad Ali said a team detained the students of Chittagong Ideal School’s Patia branch and recovered the same copy of the physics question paper in their mobile phones.The examinees were however allowed to sit for the examination. Legal action will be taken against them after the examinations, said Syed Murad Ali.Question paper of all the eight examinations held so far have been leaked this year, which is a record.As many as 2,031,899 students are participating in the SSC examinations this year.The government has taken different measures to stop the leak of question papers, but to no avail.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda ZiaBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday filed a separate petition with the High Court seeking bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, reports UNB.Lawyers Nowshad Jamir and Kaiser Kamal, on behalf of the BNP chief, submitted the 880-page bail petition in the morning showing 31 grounds for granting her bail.The HC bench of justice M Enayetur Rahim and justice Shahidul Karim is set to hear the petition on Thursday after hearing another appeal filed by her challenging her sentence in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.Earlier on Tuesday, lawyers of the BNP chairperson filed an appeal with the High Court challenging her sentence in the graft case. The court fixed Thursday for hearing it.On 8 February last, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former prime minister and BNP chairperson and sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city.
Quazi Nawshaba AhmedRejecting the bail petition of actress Quazi Nawshaba Ahmed, a Dhaka court on Monday ordered the concerned authorities to admit her to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for treatment, reports UNB.Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Asaduzzaman Nur passed the order after Nawshaba’s lawyer Shamol Kanti Dhar filed the petition seeking bail for the actress upon completion of her six-day remand in two phases in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act. Earlier, Nawshaba was taken to DMCH as she fell sick at Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in the afternoon.Alimuzzaman, deputy commissioner under the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said Nawshaba was produced before a Dhaka CMM court on Monday as her two days’ fresh remand expired on Sunday.“When she was produced before the court, she fell sick. Later, she was taken to the DMCH for treatment,” said Alimuzzaman.DMCH officials said the DB police brought Nawshaba to the hospital around 3:45pm and took back after treatment at the medicine department of the hospital at 4:40pm. Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Amirul Haider Chowdhury on Friday put actress Nawshaba on a two-day fresh remand in the case when Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, a CTTC unit inspector and the investigation officer of the case, produced Nawshaba before his court on expiry of her four-day remand and sought a 10-day fresh remand.Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) detained the actress from Uttara area in the capital on 4 August over spreading rumours on Facebook over the attack on protesting students.In a Facebook live, Nawshaba claimed that the attackers killed two students and gouged out the eyes of another at Jhigatola intersection.In her post, she also requested people to get united, take to the streets to ‘protect’ the students as they were attacked by Bangladesh Chhatra League activists.
.Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) will provide traffic updates on their official Facebook page from Saturday, aiming to ensure hassle-free journeys of Eid holidaymakers, reports UNB.RAB director general Benazir Ahmed at a press briefing at its media centre at Karwan Bazar came up with the move on Saturday.RAB will update the overall condition of traffic across the country on their Facebook page in every four hours, he said.The commuters will be able to learn about the traffic congestion on highways with the Facebook updates of RAB, he added.Besides, a special security measures have been taken for two weeks aiming safe journey of Eid holidaymakers.”A total of 245 patrol teams and 56 reserved teams have been deployed along with many special camps across the country. Special camps have been set up on both ends of Meghna Bridge and Gomti Bridge on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway to avoid traffic jam”, he said.”Along with that, on both ends of Mawa-Paturia ferry ghats security patrolling was strengthened. This year, commuters will not be allowed to use small vehicles for Eid journeys”, he added.
The government ban on Hilsa fishing begins from 7 October. Prothom Alo File PhotoA 22-day ban on catching, selling, hoarding and transporting of people’s favourite hilsa fish will come into effect in Chandpur district from 7 October to protect the mother-Hilsa.The ban will be imposed on 60 kilometres area from Matlab Uttar upazila to Haimchar upazila and nearby a 40 km stretch of Char Alexander of Lakshmipur district. The ban will remain in force till 28 October, reports UNB.Last year, the period of restriction on catching hilsa fish was 20 days, from 1 October.Chandpur fisheries official Md Asadul Baki said 22 days from 7 to 28 October is the peak period for mother-Hilsa to release eggs.Necessary measures would be taken to create awareness on conservation of hilsa and its importance among the fishermen.To make the campaign a success, fisheries office and district taskforce will work for 24 hours, the officer added.
US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday ramped up pressure on the Myanmar government to accept a UN fact-finding mission tasked with investigating human rights abuses against Rohingya Muslims.Yangon officials said last week that they would deny visas to the three-person team mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate abuses reportedly committed by security forces in Rakhine state.“It is important that the Burmese government allow this fact-finding mission to do its job,” Haley said in a statement.“The international community cannot overlook what is happening in Burma – we must stand together and call on the government to fully cooperate with this fact-finding mission.”Myanmar’s de facto leader and Nobel prize winning democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has rejected the UN fact-finding mission, arguing that the government is carrying out its own investigation.The north of Rakhine state has been under lockdown since October, when the military launched a campaign to hunt down Rohingya militants who staged deadly attacks on police posts.More than 90,000 Rohingya have been forced to flee their homes since last October, according to UN estimates.A UN report in February said the campaign against the Rohingya, who are denied citizenship and other rights in Myanmar, “very likely” amounted to war crimes.Haley said the violence in Rakhine continues to claim lives and that there were continuing allegations of sexual violence targeting women and children.In May, the Geneva-based rights council appointed Indira Jaising of India, Radhika Coomaraswamy of Sri Lanka and Christopher Dominic Sidoti of Australia to serve as the three members of the fact-finding mission.
An Indian visa. Photo: CollectedIndia has opened six new visa application centres (IVACs) in Bangladesh, raising the total number of IVACs to 15, announced its High Commission in Dhaka on Wednesday, reports UNB.The IVACs in Thakurgaon and Bogura will begin operation from 6 January while those in Cumilla, Noakhali, Brahmanbaria and Satkhira from 12 January.These new IVACs are being opened to further serve the needs and facilitate the access of Indian visas to Bangladesh nationals, residing in far-flung and remote areas of Bangladesh, said the High Commission.Currently, there are nine fully functional IVACs in different parts of Bangladesh. Those are in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet, Chattogram, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Barishal and Jashore.The opening of more IVACs reflect the continuing efforts of the High Commission of India, in collaboration with its outsourced partner the State Bank of India, to further streamline the Indian visa application process and strengthen people-to-people contacts between India and Bangladesh, the High Commission added.
Police recovered the bodies of two young men from Brahmanbaria and Narisingdi districts on Sunday, reports UNB.In Brahmanbaria, police recovered the body of a young man seven days after he went missing in Titas river at Majlishpur in Sadar upazila on Sunday.Abdur Rahman, 32, son of Rasun Ali Mia of the same village, went missing on 31 December, according to locals.Locals found his body floating in the river around 12:00pm and informed police.Later, police recovered the body from the spot and sent it to Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital for autopsy, said Salim Uddin, officer-in-charge of Brahamanbaria Sadar police station.In Narsingdi, police recovered the throat-slit body of an unidentified young man from near Bashordirtek bridge at Akhalia village in Sadar upazila on Sunday.Officer-in-charge of Madhabadi police station Md Abu Taher Dewan said, on information, police recovered the body around 11:30am and sent it to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital for autopsy.
Sahidullah, a man from the Rohingya community, holds his son on his lap as he speaks with Reuters inside his shack at a camp on the outskirts of Jammu on 5 October 2018. Photo: ReutersIn hotels and restaurants near the beach at Cox’s Bazar in southeast Bangladesh, international and local aid workers sent to help the Rohingyas in the world’s largest refugee settlement talk nervously of the major challenge ahead – the weather.Cox’s Bazar was mainly known as Bangladesh’s top local tourism spot, famed for the world’s longest natural sea beach, until the 2017 arrival of more than 730,000 Rohingya fleeing persecution in Myanmar in a human exodus of unprecedented scale.Joining thousands of Rohingya Muslims already in Cox’s Bazar, they cleared forests and built shelters from mud and bamboo to create a sprawling mass of camps that now house more than 900,000 people, of which 80 per cent are women and children.Over 18 months the Bangladesh government, with thousands of staff from about 145 non-government organisations (NGOs) and aid agencies, have brought order to the chaos, building more stable shelters, roads, sanitation and setting up community projects.But while life in the settlement has started to stabilise, aid workers said they were rushing to secure the camps for the longer term with no sign of the crisis ending and one factor hanging over them – the monsoon in May then cyclone season.”This is not an easy place to work because we are constantly worrying about things over which we have no control,” said Nayana Bose, spokeswoman for the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG) that coordinates the humanitarian agencies’ work.”It’s challenging in terms of terrain, weather, and population,” she said, adding this made it harder than other refugee crises and Bangladesh’s biggest ever humanitarian task.Aid workers recalled how the early months of the crisis were focused on life-saving work, such as building shelters and latrines, food supplies, and dealing with health emergencies.They worked around the clock in the camps located about 40 km (25 miles) south of Cox’s Bazar – a 1.5 hour drive that can take much longer depending on traffic on the pot-holed roads where aid agencies’ four-wheel drives vie with auto rickshaws.Fly In, Fly OutMost international staff came for three month stints but as time went on were replaced by staff on six month and one year contracts, working eight week shifts before flying out for one week of rest and recreation and to visit their families.Leisure activities are limited in Cox’s Bazar, with alcohol in Muslim Bangladesh only available at some international hotels, so some aid staff set up yoga classes and book clubs.Women must be dressed conservatively so swimming is not an option, although some aid workers value beach walks, and international workers are told not to leave hotels after 10:00pm.Firas Al-Khateeb, a spokesman for the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR, said he had worked with refugees in five other countries but the Rohingya crisis was more challenging.First there was the sheer numbers involved, then language problems as most Rohingya are illiterate, complicating awareness campaigns about risks in the camps, and also the fact the Rohingya are not recognised by Myanmar and have nowhere to go.Chances of the crisis ending soon are remote. Bangladesh’s government has vowed not to repatriate anyone unwillingly, garnering global praise for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who just won a third term despite reports of poll irregularities.UN special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee, said on 25 January it was clear the Rohingya cannot return “in the near future” with the situation unchanged and Myanmar still denying all accusations of persecution.”The Rohingya are stateless and had been suffering back home. Some talk about the freedom they have here,” said Al-Khateeb, whose organisation is frequently quoted saying the average length of stay in a refugee camp is around 15-20 years.Getting ReadyBut he added that the weather was a major problem, with efforts now underway to make the camps as secure as possible in case of a severe monsoon or cyclone season. Last year the Cox’s Bazar area was not badly hit.Anjum Nahed Chowdhury, a project manager with Christian Aid working on disaster risk reduction with BRAC, Bangladesh’s largest NGO, is focused on strengthening bamboo for shelters, digging ditches, landslide protection, and building brick roads.”We must be ready for the monsoon season and we are much better prepared this year. If the cyclones had been bad last year it would have been a disaster,” she said.While life in the camps is becoming normalised, the Rohingya are not allowed to formally work as this could impact local jobs, but they can earn about $5 a day on NGO projects in camps.With this they can trade with each other at stalls that line the main roads winding through the camps that sell food, plastic toys and clothes as stray dogs and cows wander past.Gemma Snowdon, a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme, said food in the camps was also changing to a longer-term plan.At first they handed out rice, lentils and oil but now they are supplying people with cards with monthly amounts based on family size with which they can buy fresh food, dried fish and eggs from stores set up by local retailers in the camps.Another programme, run by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), International Organization for Migrants (IOM) and WFP, is supplying all households with stoves and a monthly canister of LPG to reduce pollution and deforestation.The loss of forest has been a key source of tension with some local people, who are now outnumbered two to one by the Rohingya, and lost some traditional income from the forest.While other locals, like Theotonius Gomes who runs the Mag Darin restaurant, have welcomed the influx of aid workers which has boosted businesses and prompted the government to start work on an international airport terminal and extended runway.But all the aid work comes at a cost.Last year UN agencies and NGOs launched a $950.8 million appeal to provide essential humanitarian assistance, including to nearly 400,000 Bangladeshis in nearby communities, some of whom are as poor as the Rohingya, in a bid to diffuse tensions.A new funding plan will be launched later this month, with initial drafts of the proposal, seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, showing the target will be about $920 million.Aid groups are well aware raising funds could get harder as the crisis rolls on and new emergencies hit the headlines.”But this emergency is not over yet. Still the Rohingyas need our help and support,” said Al-Khateeb.
Fire at Tejgaon slum in Dhaka on 3 March. Photo: Zia IslamA fire broke out at a slum beside private television channel Deepto TV in Dhaka’s Tejgaon area on Sunday, reports UNB.The fire originated around 12:10pm during an eviction drive conducted by police in the area, said Ekramul Islam, duty officer at the Fire Service and Civil Defence control room.On information, three firefighting units rushed to the spot to douse the flame, he added.
Central American migrant Silvia walks holding onto to her daughters; Karen, 5, left, and Beiyi, 4, with a caravan to the US, make their way to Mapastepec, Mexico, Wednesday, 24 October 2018. Photo: APLittle by little, sickness, fear and police harassment are whittling down the migrant caravan making its way to the US border, with many of the 4,000 to 5,000 migrants camped overnight under plastic sheeting in a town in southern Mexico complaining of exhaustion.The group, many with children and even pushing toddlers in strollers, planned to depart Mapastepec at dawn Thursday with more than 1,000 miles still to go before they reach the US border.But in recent days a few hundred have accepted government offers to bus them back to their home countries.Jose David Sarmientos Aguilar, a 16-year-old student from San Pedro Sula, Honduras, was one of at least 80 migrants waiting in the town square of Huixtla, where the rest of the caravan departed Wednesday morning, for four buses that would take them back to Honduras.Sarmientos Aguilar said it was partly the spontaneous nature of the caravan — many people joined on the spur of the moment — as well as the rumors of migrants dying that did him in.He joined the march “without thinking about what could happen and the consequences it could bring,” he said. He said the death of a migrant who fell off a truck Monday — and vague rumors of two migrants killed in Huixtla — also pushed him to return.”There have been a lot of tragedies. It’s not necessary to go on losing more lives to reach there (the US),” he said. “I am a little sick in the chest. I have a cough. And so instead of risking getter sicker and something happening to me, it’s better to go home.”Carlos Roberto Hernandez, of Yoro province in Honduras, has a rumbling cough. For him, it was the scorching heat during the day and the evening rains that led him to drop out.”We got hit by rain, and ever since then I’ve had a cold,” Hernandez said. Asked if he would make another attempt to reach the US, he said emphatically: “No. I’m going to make my life in Honduras.”For Pedro Arturo Torres, it appeared to be homesickness that broke his determination to reach the US”We didn’t know what lay ahead,” said Torres. “We want to return to our country, where you can get by — even if just with beans, but you can survive, there with our families, at peace.”The Mexican federal government’s attitude has also played a role in wearing down the caravan.All the food, old clothes, water and medicine given to the migrants have come from private citizens, church groups or sympathetic local officials.The federal government hasn’t given the migrants on the road a single meal, a bathroom or a bottle of water. It has reserved those basic considerations only for migrants who turn themselves in at immigration offices to apply for visas or be deported. Officials say nearly 1,700 migrants have already dropped out and applied for asylum in Mexico.Sometimes federal police have interfered with the caravan.In at least one instance, The Associated Press saw federal police officers force a half-dozen passenger vans to pull over and make the drivers kick migrants off, while leaving Mexican passengers aboard. In a climate where heat makes walking nearly impossible at midday, such tactics may eventually take a toll on migrants’ health.In Mapastepec, where the main group stayed Wednesday night, it appeared the size of the caravan had diminished slightly. The United Nations estimated earlier in the week that about 7,000 people were in the group. The Mexican government gave its own figure Wednesday of “approximately 3,630.”Parents say they keep going for their children’s futures, and fears of what could happen to them back home in gang-dominated Honduras, which was the main motivation for deciding to leave in the first place.”They can’t be alone. … There’s always danger,” said Ludin Giron, a Honduran street vendor making the difficult journey with her three young children. “When (gang members) see a pretty girl, they want her for themselves. If they see a boy, they want to get him into drugs.”Refusing either demand can be deadly. Honduras has a homicide rate of about 43 per 100,000 inhabitants, one of the highest in the world for any country not in open war.On Wednesday, Giron crammed with her children, 3-year-olds Justin and Nicole and 5-year-old Astrid, into the seat of a motorcycle taxi meant for only two passengers. Also perched on the perilously overcrowded motorbike were Reyna Esperanza Espinosa and her 11-year-old daughter, Elsa Araceli.Espinosa, a tortilla maker from Cortes, Honduras, said there was no work back home. “That’s why we decided to come here, to give a better future for our children,” she said.Such caravans have taken place regularly, if on a smaller scale, over the years, but US President Donald Trump has seized on the phenomenon this year and made it a rallying call for his Republican base ahead of the Nov. 6 midterm elections.Trump has blamed Democrats for what he says are weak immigration laws, and he claimed that MS-13 gang members and unknown “Middle Easterners” were hiding among the migrants. He later acknowledged there was “no proof” of the claim Middle Easterners were in the crowd. But he tweeted Wednesday that the US “will never accept people coming into our Country illegally!”Associated Press journalists traveling with the caravan have met throngs of Hondurans, as well as Guatemalans, Salvadorans and Nicaraguans, but no one from the Mideast. Many were young people traveling with their families. Again and again, they cited poverty and violence in their countries as reasons for leaving.Another, smaller caravan earlier this year dwindled greatly as it passed through Mexico, with only about 200 making it to the California border. Those who do make it into the US face a hard time being allowed to stay. US authorities do not consider poverty, which many cite as a reason for migrating, in processing asylum applications.Carmen Mejia from Copan, Honduras, carried 3-year-old Britany Sofia Alvarado in her arms, and clutched the hand of 7-year-old Miralia Alejandra Alvarado, also sweaty — and feverish.Mejia said she was worn out. Still, she pledged to go on. “I’ve walked a long way. I don’t want to return. I want a better future for my children.”
In just a span of 24 hours, 2 female students of Dhaka University were harassed on the campus on Saturday and Sunday respectively. A student of the meteorological science department was chatting with her friend, a former student of the mass communications and journalism department, in front of the university’s Arts Building on Saturday evening.A group of six or seven students led by Nazmul Huque, a first year law student attached to Muktijoddha Ziaur Rahman Hall, came up and were ragging the couples there. This student and her friend asked Nazmul and his associates’ identity. In response, they physically assaulted them.Then on Sunday afternoon, a girl student of DU’s theatre and performance studies department was harassed by some of her own classmates. She said at the last Amar Ekushey book fair she had sat at the Jubo League stall when one of her classmates, Shahbaz Ishtiaq Puran, secretly taken pictures of her.She had argued with him over the matter several times. Then on Sunday in class, Puran tried to topple her off her chair. They got into an argument over this when at one point Puran and two of his friends, Obaidur Rahman Sohan and Dipan Saha, physically assaulted her.In both incidents the victims complained to the university proctor.DU proctor professor AKM Golam Rabbani, speaking to Prothom Alo about the matter, said, “The concerned hall proctor has been informed about Saturday’s incident and he will meet the complainants today, Monday. I received a verbal complaint about Sunday’s incident. The departmental head has been told to ask for a written complaint if needed and take departmental action accordingly.”The Dhaka University administration has taken no tangible action against girls being harassed and molested on campus in recent times.The committee formed to look into the assault on DUCSU VP Nurul Huq and some female students at the university’s SM Hall, has still not submitted any report.
High CourtThe High Court on Monday issued a rule asking the authorities concerned to explain as to why mother’s name should not be attached along with father’s one for a citizen’s identity, reports UNB.Home and law secretaries, Bangladesh Judicial Service Commission and Bangladesh Supreme Court Registrar General were asked to respond to the rule in four weeks.The HC bench of justice Sheikh Hassan Arif and justice Razik-Al-Jalil issued the rule after hearing a writ petition filed by lawyer Jobaida Parvin.Assistant attorney generals Samira Tarannum Rabeya and Suchira Hossain stood for state while lawyer Suraiya Begum represented the petitioner.The women and children affairs ministry issued a gazette earlier which made it compulsory to include mother’s name in children’s identity but it is yet to be implemented, said Suraiya Begum.
A Prothom Alo IllustrationTwo men were killed in a what members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) called gunfight with them at Kayukhkhali in Teknaf municipality of Cox’s Bazar early Saturday, reports UNB.Deceased Abdul Gafur, 40, son of a certain Sultan Ahmed of Rongikhali Rohingya Camp and Mohammad Sadek, 23, son of late Sharif of Keruntoli area were yaba traders.Lieutenant colonel Md Faisal Hasan Khan, BGB commanding officer of Teknaf-2, said acting on tip off of smuggling of a consignment of yaba, a team of BGB conducted a drive in Kayukhkhali area early Saturday.Sensing their presence, the armed yaba traders opened fire on the BGB men, prompting them to fire back that triggered the gunfight, he added.Later, the BGB men recovered two bullet-hit bodies from the spot and sent those to Teknaf Upazila Health Complex where physicians declared them dead.Over 100,000 yaba pills were recovered from the spot, he added.According to the human rights organisation, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), at least 421 people were killed in alleged gunfights, crossfires or shootouts with the law enforcement agencies in 2018.In the first four months of 2019, the number of such killing was at least 115, the rights body said on its website.
Share This! Buttigieg walks fine line in courting religious left August 29, 2019 Share This! TagsBJP Hindutva India Islam Kashmir Narendra Modi,You may also like Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,‘Let our voices be heard’: Churches march against immigration raids Aijaz Hussain By: Aijaz Hussain By: Aijaz Hussain Anti-extremism program won’t stop white hate, say Muslims who’ve seen its … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email By: Aijaz Hussain India to bring supplies to Kashmir; Pakistan to go to UN Pete Buttigieg: Religious left is ‘stirring’ August 29, 2019 News News Share This! News Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Aijaz Hussain,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Troops in Indian-administered Kashmir allowed some Muslims to walk to local mosques alone or in pairs Monday (Aug. 12) for the Eid al-Adha festival during an unprecedented security lockdown in the disputed region that has gone on for eight straight days.Thousands of additional troops were sent to the disputed Himalayan region before India’s Hindu nationalist-led government said Aug. 5 it was revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrading its statehood.All communications and the internet remained cut off in the Muslim-majority territory to limit protests of the Indian government’s decision. Streets were deserted, with most people staying indoors and authorities not allowing large groups to gather.“Our hearts are on fire,” said Habibullah Bhat, 75, who said he came out to pray on the Islamic holy day despite his failing health. “India has thrown us into the dark ages, but God is on our side and our resistance will win.”Hundreds of worshippers gathered on a Srinagar street after the prayers and chanted, “We want freedom” and “Go India, go back,” witnesses said. Officials said the protest ended peacefully.Elsewhere, two people were injured in violent incidents, senior police officer S.P. Pani said. He did not give any details.Kashmir police said in a tweet that Eid prayers “concluded peacefully in various parts of the (Kashmir) Valley. No untoward incident reported so far.” Independent verification of events in the region was difficult because of the communications shutdown.India’s foreign ministry shared photos of people visiting mosques but didn’t specify where the photos were taken in the region, which New Delhi downgraded from a state to two federal territories a week ago.Vijay Keshav Gokhale, the ministry’s top diplomat, said communications restrictions “will be gradually eased when we feel the law and order situation improves.” He said most mosques were open, but some were not for security reasons.There were “no reports of starvation” and medical facilities, utilities and banking services were functioning normally, he said.The lockdown is expected to last through Thursday, India’s independence day. The restrictions were briefly eased for Friday prayers last week and for shopping ahead of Eid.Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan but claimed in full by both. The nuclear neighbors and bitter rivals have fought two wars over Kashmir, and the first one ended in 1948 with a promise of a U.N.-sponsored referendum in the territory. It has never been held.Rebels have been fighting Indian rule for decades in the portion administered by New Delhi.Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari expressed support for people in the Indian-administered portion of Kashmir to have self-determination. Both visited the Pakistani-controlled portion of Kashmir for Eid.Qureshi urged the international community to take notice of “Indian atrocities and human rights violations in Kashmir.” He said Islamabad was trying its best to highlight the issue internationally and expose Indian “cruelties.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an Aug. 8 address to the nation that the move would free the territory of “terrorism and separatism” and accused Pakistan of fomenting unrest.Restrictions, security lockdowns and information blackouts are nothing new for Kashmiris. The region saw months of clampdowns during massive uprisings against Indian rule in 2008, 2010 and 2016. However, this is the first time that landline phones have been cut off, intensifying the hardship.Frequent separatist calls for general strikes and protests are routinely met with lockdowns.Kashmiris have learned to figure out ways to survive being confined to their homes. They are accustomed to stockpiling essentials, a practice usually undertaken during harsh winter months when roads and communications lines often are down.More than 1 million people live in the area under security siege in Srinagar, and residents have begun to face shortages of food, prescription drugs and other necessities as shops remain closed and movement is restricted. Parents have struggled to entertain their children who are unable to go to school.Authorities say they have made cash available in ATMs so residents could take out money to buy essentials for Eid.(Associated Press writers Ashok Sharma and Emily Schmall in New Delhi and Roshan Mughal in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, contributed.) Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email