Jammu & Kashmir has been a disputed region for several decades, and insurgency movements are still widely active. Violent and deadly demonstrations have been commonplace due to the tensions between the Indian state and civilian Pakistani sympathizers.
Between July and August 2016, India’s Jammu & Kashmir region was hit by a wave of violent civil unrest against military actions. Protests were met with a heavy handed response by the government, resulting in the death of over 85 civilians, and several officers.
The government established curfews during the time of the unrest, requiring civilians and travelers to stay inside during nighttime and suspending phone networks in all districts. Many protesters continued to defy the curfew, which resulted in increased violence from the police and military forces, and caused in widespread insecurity throughout the region.
SAFEY sent around 50 alerts, and provided users with updates as events unfolded. Detailed messages were sent out regularly, advising users on ongoing and planned protests, their scale, location, communication and travel restrictions, and possible violence.
Large-scale protests in regions of political instability often result in violence and strong police action. Traveling in the vicinity of demonstrations can pose a physical danger or may even result in arrest and legal problems, as travelers could be mistaken for participants.
There are several ways to stay out of trouble during times of unrest:
- Remain aware for signs of increased tensions in your vicinity.
- Avoid all protests and large public gatherings due to potential for escalation.
- Be aware of the risk of traffic disruptions in your vicinity. Limit travel in the area and seek alternate routes.
- Monitor local media outlets and the SAFEY security information service regularly.