The predominantly Muslim area of Kashmir has been under an unprecedented security lockdown and near-total communications blackout to prevent unrest and protests after India's Hindu nationalist-led government said Monday it was revoking Kashmir’s special constitutional status and downgrading its statehood. Atlanta protestors will host a demonstration in support of Kashmiri residents downtown on Saturday afternoon.
Photo: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Photo: AP Photo/Altaf Qadri

Kashmir supporters to rally downtown Saturday afternoon

As the dispute over the Indian-controlled region of Kashmir intensifies, Atlanta protesters will take to the streets Saturday afternoon in support of the majority-Muslim territory.

The rally begins at Centennial Olympic Park near the Omni Hotel at 4 p.m., and demonstrators will march to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, organizers said. 

Dubbed the “ATL Stand With Kashmir Protest,” demonstrators plan to speak out against what they’re calling the Indian government’s recent human rights abuses in Kashmir.

The region has been under a communications blackout since last weekend, leaving residents without internet, cellphone service, landlines or television, The Associated Press reported.

RELATED: Pre-dawn food run then rush home: Kashmir under curfew

The lives of millions of Kashmiris have been upended following India’s decision to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, downgrading the nation’s only majority Muslim region from statehood to a territory. 

The Indian military has also imposed a continuous curfew on all civilians as an estimated 800,000 troops occupy the region, according to the AP. 

MORE: Kashmir curfew partially eased for prayers amid lockdown

Kashmir is claimed in its entirety by both India and Pakistan and is divided between the archrivals. Rebels have been fighting New Delhi's rule for decades in the Indian-controlled portion, and most Kashmiri residents want either independence or a merger with Pakistan.

Nearly 120 demonstrators plan to attend Saturday’s Atlanta protest, according to the event’s Facebook page, and about 260 more people are “interested” in the rally.

In other news: 

Channel 2's Lauren Pozen spoke with scooter riders about the new rule.

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