This third chapter of “Resist to Exist”—a Caravan Originals video series on Kashmir—takes us through the struggle of women dealing with the arbitrary arrests of their family members in the Valley. “They just come pick up children,” Sumaira Bilal, a resident of downtown Srinagar, whose husband has been imprisoned for over four months, said. “Then, when those children come out on the roads with stones in their hands, they say, ‘We will give him the status of a militant. He has become a stone pelter.’”
Since 5 August, Jammu and Kashmir has been under an indefinite lockdown. The Indian state abrogated Kashmir’s special status by reading down Article 370 of the Constitution. It cut off all modes of telecommunication from the region, significantly increased the military presence and placed thousands, including Kashmir’s pro-India politicians, under arrest. According to official data, the Indian security forces have made more than five thousand preventive arrests in the Kashmir Valley since 4 August. Though the communications blockade in Kashmir has been relaxed to an extent, its residents continue to live in conditions of fear, oppression and uncertainty.