US Senators express concern about curbs in Kashmir ahead of Trump’s India visit

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Srinagar: Ahead of US President Donald Trump’s India visit later this month, four top US senators have written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, expressing concern about the internet curbs in Kashmir more than six months after Jammu and Kashmir’s  special status was scrapped under Article 370, as well the preventive detentions of politicians, NDTV reported.

The letter by the senators, two Democrats and two Republicans, says that the Indian government “continues to block most internet in the region… India has now imposed the longest ever internet shutdown by a democracy, disrupting access to medical care, business and education for 7 million people”.

“Hundreds of Kashmiris remain in ‘preventive detention’ including key political figures,” the letter to Mike Pompeo states. The senators said “these actions have severe consequences”.

The letter goes on to demand an assessment by the US government within 30 days of “the number of individuals detained by the Indian government for political purposes due to India’s revocation of Article 370”.

The senators also call for an assessment of the “restrictions on communications” in Jammu and Kashmir and the “level of access” given to independent observers, diplomats, foreign journalists.

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