India to allow tourists back into Kashmir after crackdown

Indian-controlled Kashmir’s authorities will allow tourists back into the region two months after asking them to leave due to security concerns amid an Indian crackdown.

However, tourists are unlikely to experience normal life in the disputed area or be able to use cellphones or mobile internet, remaining cut.

Local government spokesman Rohit Kansal said that the decision was made after a situation review showed that the restrictions had been withdrawn almost entirely from all parts of Kashmir and Jammu.

He added that the restrictions on the entry of tourists will be lifted on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The government instructed Hindu pilgrims and tourists to leave on Aug. 2, three days before the country stripped the Muslim-majority region of its statehood and semi-autonomy.

The Hindu nationalist-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sent 10,000 additional troops to the region, one of the most militarized in the world. It imposed a harsh security clampdown, which cut virtually all communications.

Indian troops arrested thousands of anti-India and pro-India activists, including some Kashmiri leaders having historically accepted Indian rule over the region, in the days after the revoking of its special status.

That moves touched off widespread anger and one of the revisions allows anyone to buy land in that territory. Some Kashmiris fear that will result in an influx of Hindus that would change the region’s demographics and culture. 

Authorities have eased some restrictions and encouraged businesses to reopen and students to return to school, but almost Kashmiris have stayed indoors in order to show their defiance of Indian rule.

They have also launched a campaign of refusal to keep their normal lives, confounding India at the cost of economic losses for themselves. Additional, shops have adopted limited hours of operation in the morning and evening.

Some tourist operators expressed their surprise over the decision of the government.

Kashmir is divided between the 2 nuclear-armed rivals, both claiming it in its entirety. They have fought 2 wars over its control.