A security personnel stands guard on a street during a lock down in Srinagar [Sajjad Hussain/AFP]

The main city in the Indian-administered part of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir has turned into a vast maze of razor wire coils and steel barricades as drones and helicopters hover overhead.

Wearing flak jackets and riot gear, paramilitary soldiers carry automatic rifles and shotguns to control the network of checkpoints and barricades across roads, lanes and intersections in Srinagar. The few vehicles and pedestrians allowed through are regulated through this maze.

Although the four million residents of the Kashmir Valley, where an armed conflict has simmered for decades, are used to blockades, the one imposed after the Indian government’s surprise move last week to strip

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