It would take several days for the relatives of Mohammad Ayoub Khan to learn of his death. 

The internet and phone blackout in Kashmir meant news the 57-year-old timber salesman had been killed in a demonstration over Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to withdraw autonomy for the contested region did not reach them.

Mr Khan, according to his family, had stepped out of his house and into clashes between government forces and stone-throwing protesters in the Braripora neighbourhood of Kashmir’s biggest city Srinagar, where he was was overcome by tear gas and later died, alone, in hospital.

“One of my cousins came to know about the death only on the fourth day. It was a brutal killing…

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