A group of largely right-wing European parliamentarians (MEPs) have visited Indian-administered Kashmir, prompting outrage from local politicians who have not been allowed to go.
The visit has been criticised as nothing more than a PR stunt.
This was the first international delegation to visit the region since August, when India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stripped the state of its autonomy, split it into two federally run territories and imposed a lockdown that lasted for weeks.
On Tuesday, the day of their arrival, the MEPs were given a tightly controlled tour of Srinagar – the main city of the region – which included a boat ride on the picturesque Dal lake.
On the same day, five civilians were killed by suspected militants, while clashes with security forces were reported from about 40 locations around Srinagar.
Who were the visiting MEPs?
The delegation initially comprised 27 members from countries including the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Poland – although four decided not to visit the region and returned to their home countries.
But the choice of parliamentarians has been seen as extraordinary by many observers.
More than a third of the delegation are from openly far-right parties in Europe, which are regarded as anti-Muslim.
Among them were MEPs for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) and from France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally.