US Senators concerned over internet curb in J&K

New Delhi: 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 political leaders. In their letter, the senators also express concern over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA that triggered protests across the country.

Last week, the draconian Public Safety Act was invoked against two former Chief Ministers, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, to extend their custody. The stringent law allows detention without trial for up to three months and multiple extensions.

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”.

Trump and Melania will arrive for a two-day India visit on February 24. They will begin their visit with a grand event in Ahmedabad.