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Kashmir’s internet shutdown is splintering India’s democracy – Source

On August 5, the Indian government cut all phone lines and internet connections in the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir without warning. WhatsApp threads went quiet overnight and bills went unpaid. Kashmiri politicians like Mehbooba Mufti, the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, were detained alongside countless activists and teachers. The roads were sealed off and patrolled by tens of thousands of armed soldiers.

“We didn’t know what was happening,” says Khurram Parvez, an activist with the Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, a federation of human rights organizations in the region. “It was quite hard for the first 15 days because there was no communication and people weren’t able to move because there was curfew.” Even after he could return to his office, Parvez was unable to reach people in his organization or connect with volunteers.

It wasn’t just work that was compromised. For the first month, even paying a television bill was impossible, Parvez…

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