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This young Kashmiri musician flew down to Delhi for a day – just to buy medicines

Musician Scroll

Ali Saffudin said that the communication blackout has caused a ‘blankness in Kashmiri minds’.
'Early on Friday afternoon, Ali Saffudin frantically kept checking his mobile phone for nmessages while he waited for the taxi that would take him to the Delhi airport. The 26-year-old Kashmiri folk singer had flown into the national capital from Srinagar on Thursday, August 8, to buy medicines for his 78-year-old grandmother, who has asthma. Back in Srinagar, there is no way to buy medicines, he said. Since midnight on August 4, the Valley has been under lockdown. Phone lines, internet connectivity and cable channels have been suspended. A government order imposed Section 144, prohibited public meetings and restricted the movement of people. Schools and colleges remain shut. Over the week before that, at least 35,000 paramilitary troops had been rushed into the Valley. Cut off from the rest of the world, the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir had its special status revoked, and bifurcated into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh – after Union Home Minister Amit Shah moved two resolutions on August 5. At 4 am on August 8, Saffudin reached the Srinagar airport and stood in a queue to get the next flight out to Delhi. “It was a long queue of so many people who were mostly.. Read more'