Kashmir, Ather Zia, Srinagar, militarization, Critical Kashmir Studies, Habba Kadal bridge, Anthropology of Policy, Instagram

this is the 15th century Habba Kadal bridge in old Srinagar. near this historic sight, on the left you see a bunker that fronts a military camp. a common sight in Kashmir. bunkers, checkpoints and army camps, heavy patrols. armored vehicles, mine resistant South African Casspir’s parked in heavily populated areas. massive spools of concertina and barbed wire coiling in the alleys and roads, creating impediments. people and animals getting caught, bruised. all part of the landscape. constant identity checks, harassment, frisking by Indian soldiers are order of the day. in the early 90’s after the Kashmiri armed militancy for self-determination and freedom began, bunkers in Kashmir mushroomed. densely peopled localities, deserted stretches, countryside and cities – everything was woven with soldiers and bunkers. initially makeshift structures of sandbags, over the last 27 years bunkers have been concretized and made into permanent structures amidst civilian areas. a reminder of an intensifying militarization. the massive number of soldiers, fortified bunkers, camps; constant lookouts with guns pointed at passersby, ubiquitous check posts; this all, reminds one of an active battlefront. Kashmiri’s call their homeland “an open prison.” everyday, the Kashmir valley, appears under siege – Ather Zia

Image (c) Ather Zia 2016. Originally posted on ASAP Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/BIuxbS8Bn0W/?taken-by=anthofpolicy

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