A communications blackout means accurate, up-to-date information from Kashmir is extremely difficult to get. The reporter Azhar Farooq had to fly from its summer capital, Srinagar, to Delhi to file his dispatch as phone lines and internet connections are all down. He describes an eerie quiet on the streets as residents prepare for what they fear could be long period of lockdown.

On Friday, the BBC released a video appearing to show huge crowds marching through the streets of Srinagar. The footage shows people running for cover as police appear to open fire and use teargas.

The Guardian’s Vidhi Doshi tells Anushka Asthana that the history of Kashmir since it was given special status after Indian independence in 1947 has been that of a contested territory and the centre of tensions between India and Pakistan.

Mirza Waheed, a Kashmiri journalist and author, describes how his idyllic childhood in the 80s changed abruptly as his home town became a frontline for militants after elections widely seen to have been rigged by India sparked an insurgency.

Also today: Jason Burke reflects on life in post-Mugabe Zimbabwe where living conditions for millions have rapidly deteriorated.





Kashmiri women attend a protest after Eid-al-Adha prayers at a mosque in Srinagar during restrictions after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government





Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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