After the Indian government revoked Article 370 of the constitution which granted special status to Indian occupied Kashmir, thousands have taken to social media to show their support and stand with the citizens of the disputed valley.
On Monday, the Modi government rushed through a presidential decree to abolish Article 370, which revoked the special status granted to occupied Kashmir and made the state a Union Territory with the legislature.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry in its statement said, “No unilateral step by the government of India can change this disputed status… As the party to this international dispute, Pakistan will exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan chair Mehdi Hasan in its statement said, “With the gathering storm, the physical security and fundamental rights of Kashmiri citizens on both sides of the border are at stake. Their safety and rights must not be barefacedly trampled.”
Hashtags such as #RedForKashmir, #BleedForKashmir, #StandWithKashmir and #KashmirUnderThreat have been floating around on social media by users to express their solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
Users have urged others to change their displays on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to red to show their support.
— Shayan Ahmed Sidiqi (@ShayanSidiqi) August 4, 2019
(3/3)We are going for #Redforkashmir to bring global attention to https://t.co/xRmrl2r6hu Kashmir goes under communication blackout,its our duty to amplify their suppressed voices.#redforkashmir#kashmirseeksattention#standforkashmir pic.twitter.com/oaLYRLYTFb
— Kamran Sadiq (@kamransadiqawan) August 4, 2019
This past week, we have seen a heightened level of repression in Indian-occupied Kashmir. All communication, transportation, businesses, hospitals, and schools have been shut down indefinitely. #StandwithKashmir #RedforKashmir #Kashmir #HumanRights #Occupation pic.twitter.com/9fjfFGhlhu
— StandWithKashmir (@standwkashmir) August 5, 2019
While others explained why it was important to change their display to show support.
As Kashmir continues to be under a communication blackout, it is important to advocate for the voiceless. The onus is on us, the international community. #StandwithKashmir #RedForKashmir pic.twitter.com/kbvqhlqc58
— Nidha R (@nrafiqii) August 6, 2019
– Largest Military Occupation in the world; 1 soldier for every 18 Kashmiris
– Longest Military Occupation; on-going for the past 72 years
– 1000s of Kashmiris killed, raped, dumped in mass graves
– No civil liberties, arbitrary detentions & punishments pic.twitter.com/y2GwqsAvEv
— Dawar Hameed Butt (@thelahorewala) August 5, 2019
A communications blackout entered its second day on Tuesday in the disputed Himalayan region of more than seven million people, who were cut off from all phones, internet services and cable networks and only residents issued with a curfew pass were allowed on the streets.
Not only were phone and internet services not available in the valley, but Kashmiri leaders were also arrested including two former state chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah.
The authorities have confirmed deploying at least 10,000 troops in the disputed region last week. A further 70,000 troops have been deployed since, according to unofficial reports, as panic continues to grip the residents.