India closes Kashmir newspapers amid unrest
Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir have shut down newspaper offices and printing presses as part of an information blackout following a week of unrest in the disputed region.
According to Naeem Akhtar, the state government spokesman and education minister, who was speaking on Sunday, the measures were taken in a bid to save more lives and strengthen peace efforts.
The move came a day after police raided the offices and seized tens of thousands of local newspapers in an attempt to curb news distribution of deadly clashes in the region.
At least 40 people are now confirmed dead and over 2,000 others injured following days of violent clashes between protesters and Indian forces, but the government has put the number of fatalities at 36.
With a curfew entering its ninth straight day, medical sources have expressed serious concern that a severe lack of blood donations and life-saving medicines could cause more deaths.
Internet and mobile networks have already been suspended in the region, and authorities have halted cable television broadcasting.
The state government has ordered restrictions on the movement of people and traffic in several parts of the valley. It said in a statement that only people involved in medical emergencies would be allowed to travel across the troubled region.
Clashes erupted after Burhan Wani, a top figure in the pro-independence Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) group, was killed along with two others in a shootout with Indian troops on July 8.
Anti-riot troops have used live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas to disperse the crowds and calm down the outrage over the past few days.
Kashmir has been at the heart of a bitter territorial dispute since India and Pakistan became independent in 1947.
New Delhi and Islamabad both claim the Himalayan region in full, but rule parts of it. The two countries have fought two wars over the disputed territory.