In the early 90s, people in downtown Srinagar faced the brunt of Indian military forces’ brutalisation. Downtown or the Old Srinagar has been at the forefront of the Kashmiri struggle for independence since centuries. In fact the first revolt against Dogra in 1864 started in its Zaldagar area.
In 1990s, the rebels found home in the maze of alleys and lanes. The underground movement had massive support in Downtown. Thus the military choked this area with a camp or a bunker at almost every nook and corner. It resembled casbah in Algiers when the Algerian armed struggle to overthrow the French started.
The arsons of Kaw Dara and Noor Bagh in the early nineties saw more than 300 properties summarily burnt down (including homes, schools and shops) shocked people. No one expected this incursion in their daily lives. Fear grew by the day. It forced many to consider leaving downtown…
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