Massive crackdown on Hurriyat, Jamaat leaders in Kashmir; dozens detained

People light candles to offer tributes to the martyred CRPF jawans of Pulwama terror attack in Patiala

People light candles to offer tributes to the martyred CRPF jawans of Pulwama terror attack in Patiala

On Saturday there were increasing signs that the military clampdown in Indian-controlled Kashmir and the government's threats against Pakistan were prompting panic buying of fuel, medicines and food.

"The arrival of more troops and the arrests of leaders and activists of separatist groups is part of an election exercise undertaken to ensure free and fair elections", said one senior police official in the state. Article 35A is linked to our very existence and connected to the Kashmir dispute.

Amid a major crackdown on separatist leaders in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre has sent additional companies of paramilitary forces to the state on an urgent basis, reports said on Saturday.

Previously in 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was the princely state, and after the freedom, the question of the citizenship came into the picture.

The action comes eight days after an audacious terror attack on a convoy in Pulwama district in which 40 CRPF personnel lost their lives.

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The police arrested Yasin Malik of pro-independence JKLF from his residence at Maisusma in Srinagar last night.

The Jamaat-e-Islami in a statement termed the crackdown "a well-designed conspiracy" to further escalate the already deteriorated situation in occupied Kashmir.

Jamaat-e-Islami leaders were detained in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday and Saturday.

A number of separatist leaders and activists, mainly those belonging to rightwing Jamaat-e-Islami, were arrested in nocturnal raids on their homes across the Valley.

India blamed Pakistan for the attack and promised a "jaw-breaking response".

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Police on Friday late night arrested Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik from his residence in Srinagar, said the spokesman.

She tweeted, "In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders and workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested".

Next week India's Supreme Court is expected to hear a petition attempting to remove an article in the constitution that prevents non-residents from moving to Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian state that contains Muslim-majority Kashmir. Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified?

Those detained include Amir (chief) of the Jamaat Dr. Abdul Hamid Fayaz, its spokesperson Zahid Ali and former and incumbent officer-bearers Ghulam Qadir Lone, Abdur Rouf, Mudasir Ahmed, Abdul Salam, Bakhtawar Ahmed, Muhammad Hayat, Bilal Ahmad, Ghulam Mohammad Dar, and many others. Such illegal and coercive measures against Kashmiris are futile and will not change realities on ground.

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