Indian security agencies has arrested around 2,300 people in Kashmir, during a security lockdown and communications blackout imposed to curb unrest after New Delhi stripped the disputed region of statehood, among which mostly are young men.
According to three police officials, the arrested people include anti-India protesters as well as pro-India Kashmiri leaders who have been held in jails and other makeshift facilities. The officials have access to all police records but aren’t authorized to talk to reporters.
Rohit Kansal, who is the official spokesman in Jammu and Kashmir has repeatedly refused to give any details about arrests and detentions. He also declined questions about specific arrests.
The arrest statistics showed that around 100 people have been arrested under the Public Safety Act, and under this act, the law permits detaining people for up to two years without trial. Also, at least 70 civilians and 20 police and soldiers have been treated at three hospitals in Srinagar for injuries stemming from the clashes.
On Tuesday, there are families crowded outside the police stations to apply for the release of their sons, husbands and other relatives.
Kashmir which is already one of the world’s most militarized regions, were sent thousands of additional Indian troops to man checkpoints. Further, Telephone communications, mobile phone coverage, broadband internet and cable TV services were cut, although some have been gradually restored in places.
The people of Kashmir executed protests and clashed with police since the crackdown, which began just before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government to deprive Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and its statehood on August 5, creating two federal territories.
One of the officials said most of the arrests have been in Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar and the heart of a 30-year-old movement to remove Hindu-majority from Muslim-majority so that Kashmir can exist independently or can be merged with Pakistan.
The disputed territory of Kashmir was claimed by both India and Pakistan in its entirety, but each controls only part of it.