On Sunday, August 4th, Sanna Wani was in Kashmir when she received a message on her phone that read, "As per the request of the central government, all domestic networks will be shut down indefinitely." After which, all mosques and other places equipped with a loudspeaker began announcing about the total curfew to start from 5 am the next morning.
Rumours intensified and panic gripped the valley. Residents began preparing for the days ahead, stocking gas and dry ration.
Soon after, Section 144 was imposed in Kashmir and all communication channels were cut off; there was no internet, no landline, no mobile network and no radio/television. The next day India's Home Minister Amit Shah moved a resolution in the Rajya Sabha to scrap Article 370 and Jammu and Kashmir was declared as a Union Territory. Following this, stories by several people who had left Kashmir safely cropped up on Twitter.
In a series of tweets, Sanna Wani, a poet, opened up about the ground situation in Kashmir. She gave a clear picture of what it is like to live in Kashmir during this turmoil.
Her tweets further said that the residents lined up at the barricades, "begging to get past".
She further revealed the fear at the airport.
"Easily, a hundred thousand people had flooded that tiny airport and the entire place was in a mess. Intermittently, certain flights would be delayed because of their proximity to the border and the tensions and skirmishes resulting in no-fly zones, " she wrote in her tweet.
Sanna wasn't alone. The hashtag #StandwithKashmir started trending on social media, which led to several other people speaking up about the consequences and how their lives came to a standstill after the curfew was imposed.
While the residents of the valley are living in a state of confusion, there are many outside Kashmir who are still trying to reach their family and friends. We are hoping that normalcy returns and peace prevails soon in the valley. Our prayers are with Kashmir.
Featured Image: Rakesh BAKSHI / AFP
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