Over 500 political leaders arrested in Occupied Kashmir
*SRINAGAR: In occupied Kashmir, over 500 political leaders and workers have been detained since India announced to repeal Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and divide the territory on communal line on Monday.*
Almost all Hurriyat leaders including the All Parties Hurriyat Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, and the Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, have been put under house arrest or in jails, Kashmir Media Service reported.
Political leaders and activists across the political spectrum have been detained in Srinagar as well as other parts of the Valley. As per the latest reports, about 560 such workers have been lodged in makeshift detention centres in Srinagar, Baramulla, Gurez and other areas, as jails and police stations of the valley were already overcrowded with the lodgment of hundreds of Hurriyat leaders and activists already booked under false cases.
This time around, the occupation authorities did not spare even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti and Sajjad Lone – who always advanced India’s interests in the territory even at the cost of the sufferings of the Kashmiri people – and detained them.
There are reports of clashes between protesters and Indian troops from across the Kashmir valley but details are still not known because of the clampdown on communication links. At least six people have been martyred and over 100 injured so far due to the firing of Indian troops on demonstrations against the abrogation of Article 370.
Meanwhile, amid strict curfew, an eerie silence prevails in Srinagar with concertina wire barricades laid on deserted streets and heavy deployment of Indian police and armed forces’ personnel. People remain confined mostly indoors due to stringent restrictions as communication links have been snapped by the authorities to prevent anti-India demonstrations.
Aadil Dar, a Systems Engineer at a multi-national company in Gurgaon, on his return from the Kashmir valley to join duties after a brief visit to his parents said, “There is a complete restriction on information flow – telecommunication facilities like data, voice and landline are snapped.”
“We do not know how long this will continue. There is no way we can know the welfare of our near and dear ones. There is no contact with anyone from outside Kashmir or even within the city,” said Imtiyaz Beig, manager of the hotel, who wants to know about his family in the border town of Kupwara.