A delegation of diplomats and officials visit the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Diplomats from nearly two dozen countries arrived on a two-day visit in Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday as residents in the disputed region's main city closed their shops and businesses in a sign of protest. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

SRINAGAR, India (AP) — Diplomats from more than 20 countries visited Indian-controlled Kashmir on Wednesday as residents of the disputed region’s main city closed their shops and businesses in a sign of protest.

This is the third visit by a group of foreign envoys stationed in India’s capital since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government stripped Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status in August 2019 and enforced the change with a harsh crackdown that for a time included a complete communications blackout.

The diplomats were driven by Indian authorities in a motorcade amid tight security from the airport in Srinagar city to the western town of Magam, where they met officials and a select group of recently elected village councilors. Shops and businesses in Magam also shut in protest.