Kashmir 2014 | Day 4 Srinagar : Protest

    main market area in Srinagar City

    suddenly when we're shopping for souvenirs here , people gathered for a protest.
    our car was parked behind them , so we're stuck here at Regal Lane.
    Located within the Press Colony ,
    with most of mainstream news offices located here ,
    this is the usual place for protests to be held as people can gather much
    attention from the news here.

    we were quite scared when this happened.
    i spoke to J & K Police nearby ( luckily i can speak a little bit of  Hindi ) about
    our safety. He smiled , and ensured that everything will be alright.
    This kind of thing is common in Kashmir
    and they are well prepared for it , especially for the safety of the civilians .
    when i spoke to the locals , they said that
    it was the villagers that are doing the protest.
    they told me that a ' higher authority ' is using their village as a ' training ground ' ,
    and with that many of the villagers , including children and women were killed
    during the ' training session ' .

    even the villagers welcomed us near the protest.
    they are not acting violent at all , instead they smiled when i approached them
    and allow me to ' blend-in ' and see up close what really is happening live ,
    without media bias.
    a really unforgettable experience for me.

    experiencing an  ' honest expression ' live , not from far
    but within the crowd itself , and not from biased corrupted media.
    the road is not closed and people can come and go to see what happening.

    one of the victim from the village with amputated arms

    its sad to see in such a beautiful place , people are struggling
    and fighting for their rights.

    all they wanted is just media attention , not violence.

    our car driver negotiated with the police and told them that we have to go to the
    airport immediately. after about 1-2 hours , the villagers considered our request and
    paused the protest for a while , allowing our car
    to pass through before continuing the protest.
    it was a peaceful protest , with no violence at all.
    luckily nothing bad happened to us.
    People always warned me about the violence in Kashmir before ,
    but from this experience , despite all the media hoaxes ,
    i feel that Kashmir is actually a safe place.
    Kashmiris are friendly , and police are everywhere to protect us.
    protests are frequent , but not as violent as what most media told us.
    the J & K police did a good job in controlling the crowd ,
    and the crowd co-operated well with no provocations.

   meanwhile 2 days before , 2 militants were killed in Srinagar .
   Luckily on that  day we went to Gulmarg , far form Srinagar area.
   nobody knew about this news until we reached back to our hotel in Srinagar.
   No civilians injured as they are evacuated safely before the open fire continues.

    I now realized that living in a peaceful country is one of the most precious gift
    from God ever.
    But i don't understand why some people took that for granted.

   13 April - 22 April 2014
   Day 4 : Srinagar

    ( disclaimer : this is not a standard article 
                       about safety in Kashmir.
                       this is a personal opinion based on my 10 days trip.
                       the facts might be wrong and situations can change.
                       please be safe when visiting Kashmir. )

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