Thousands arrested as curfew continues for 15th consecutive day in IOK
In occupied Kashmir, the Indian authorities have arrested thousands of people amid imposition of continued curfew and other restrictions across since August 5 when Narendra Modi government announced revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. A magistrate speaking to the French news agency, in Srinagar confirmed that at least 4,000 people were arrested under the black Public Safety Act (PSA) over the past two weeks. “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 occupied territory amid a communications blackout imposed by authorities. An Indian 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 forces’ personnel, who confirmed the sweeping arrests.
A police official who asked to remain anonymous said, “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 aircrafts,” he added. Meanwhile, the authorities have turned the valley, particularly Srinagar, into a military garrison by deploying Indian troops and police personnel in every nook and corner as curfew and other restrictions entered its 15th day today. In Srinagar, thousands of troops and policemen are patrolling the deserted streets, lanes and by lanes to thwart any attempt of people to stage anti-India demonstrations. The authorities also continue to impose information blockade as TV channels and internet links remain snapped and restrictions on media continue since 5th August. After a short relief, mobile and internet services have been once again suspended in five districts of Jammu region.
A big anti-India protest demonstration was held at Shahabad, Verinag in Dooru area of Islamabad. A girl and a little child were injured when forces resorted to brute force on the protesters. Almost all Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continue to remain under house arrest or in jails. Over 900 political leaders and workers including even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Engineer Abdur Rasheed and Shah Faesal have been detained. Due to severe blockade, a famine-like situation is emerging as people are facing severe shortage of essential commodities including baby food and life-saving medicines and occupied Kashmir represents a humanitarian crisis in all its manifestations.