On Monday, the Kashmir valley went silent. In Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian administered half of the world’s most fiercely militarised zone, the internet and phone lines went down, a curfew was imposed and 40,000 more troops moved in. Local political leaders were arrested, and the Amarnath Yatra, a popular Hindu pilgrimage in the region, was abruptly cancelled. Then, with Kashmiris left in the dark, the Indian government announced it was amending Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, a move which revoked the region’s special status.
Throughout decades of border tensions, insurgent violence, and over-militarisation, the special status has given Jammu and Kashmir some constitutionally-entrenched political autonomy. With that autonomy now gone, the valley’s future remains uncertain.