‘Over 4,000 people arrested in Kashmir since August 5’

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 8/19/2019 1:29:14 AM

SRINAGAR, Aug 18: Thousands of people have been detained in Kashmir over fears of outbreaks of unrest after the BJP government stripped of the special status to the State two weeks ago, the state government sources said.
An AFP report quoting a magistrate on condition of anonymity said at least 4,000 people were arrested and held under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.
“Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity,” the magistrate said, adding that he had used a satellite phone allocated to him to collate the figures from colleagues across the State amid a communications blackout imposed by authorities.
Authorities have repeatedly declined to provide a tally of how many people have been taken into custody, apart from confirming more than 100 local politicians, activists and academics were detained in the first few days after the state was stripped of its semi-autonomous status.
They said the “few preventive detentions” were made to avoid a "breach of the peace" in a region that has fought an armed rebellion against Indian rule for three decades.
Jammu and Kashmir government spokesman Rohit Kansal said previously there was “no centralised figure” for the total number of people detained.
But AFP spoke to numerous government officials in Srinagar, including police and security personnel, who confirmed the sweeping arrests.
A police official who asked to remain anonymous told AFP “around 6,000 people were medically examined at a couple of places in Srinagar after they were detained”.
“They are first sent to the central jail in Srinagar and later flown out of here in military aircraft,” he added.
Another security official said "thousands are jailed" but that the figure did not include other residents whose detentions at police stations had not been recorded.

 

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