I walked a km to find the nicest auto-wallah in the land.
He didn't have a clue of what had happened, why his city had overnight turned into ghost town -- blanketed with security.
But there was no curfew. Hence, no passes.
Getting through a checkpoint was sheer luck.
In that stretch between Lal Chowk and Gupkar, or parts of Civil Lines, some people moved around. Especially in the evenings. And around the big hospitals through out the day.
And people were angry, and frustrated.
And it would come out in the stone-pelted, every evening, when the troops withdrew.
EVERYTHING was down -- except cable TV.
About 200 police and local administration officials had satellite phones, with several hundred more using a restricted military network.
Even hospital and fire department staff were without any comms.
“Police stations have been given satellite phones but not him. That shows their (government’s) priority," an official said.
“Communication is a lifeline,” said one fire official who requested anonymity. “Only if someone contacts us can we do something.”
A reporter told me there had been stone-pelting 2 km away from this newsroom on Monday. He didn't find out till 4 hours later.
And only 5 newspapers out of 174 dailies in the Valley were publishing.
Hilariously, the govt even called a couple of press conferences, if I remember correctly.
Most didn't know it was called till it was over. Or how to get the information out.
Security forces were hostile; they didn't want disturbances to be reported.
Protests were hostile; they were angry at the spin on TV news.
So, we sneaked into downtown on a cute Scooty!
1. A fighter jet hovered above central Srinagar
2. The moon played hide and seek with clouds
3. Arnab kept shouting that Kashmir was normal
I just went to bed.
So, Modi's words mattered little to dozens of people I spoke to the next day.
They weren't going to believe anything he said anymore.
The tension was building. Friday prayers.
Indian police used tear gas and pellets to fight back at least 10,000 people protesting Delhi’s withdrawal of special rights for Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir state in its main city of Srinagar on Friday.
Yes, there were people, bikes, and traffic -- IN SOME PARTS.
Yes, shops and street stalls were open -- IN SOME PARTS.
Security forces sat at a safe distance away.
On the way, we crossed at least two other blockaded streets. One had a burning type. At 1 pm.
It was accurate, with hundreds pouring out on to the streets.
The next few days at critical, with some easing of restrictions likely around Aug 15-16.
But that may well light the fuse. Still, how long can you keep Kashmir locked up?