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Three months of spontaneous shutdown: 1,300 still under detention in Kashmir

No let-up: Vehicles plying in Srinagar on November 2, though life remained affected for the 89th consecutive day in Jammu and Kashmir.

No let-up: Vehicles plying in Srinagar on November 2, though life remained affected for the 89th consecutive day in Jammu and Kashmir.  

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Nearly 6,300 people, including political leaders, were rounded up since August

More than 5,000 youths and political workers, detained as part of the clampdown in Kashmir since August 5, have been released, even as the Valley marked three months of spontaneous shutdown on Monday.

Fresh police data show that about 6,300 people, including political leaders, had been rounded up in the Valley in the past three months. “Around 1,300 continue to remain behind the bars and the rest have been released,” a police report suggests.

About 3,500 people, from “known mobilisers” to political leaders including three former chief ministers Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, were detained in the unprecedented crackdown in the month of August, immediately after the Centre revoked the semi-autonomous status of J&K.

The police data suggested that the crackdown had continued in the months of September and October, which saw almost 2,000 additional arrests in areas where clashes were reported between security forces and locals.

Of the total 279 political leaders and party activists detained, the number now stands at 227, including a BJP leader. “Around 34 senior political leaders remain detained at the Centaur hotel in Srinagar,” the police said.

Those detained at the Centaur are likely to be shifted to a another location within the city, as cold weather has set in and the hotel’s heating system is not ‘up to the mark’.

Clashes spike on MEPs visit

The recent visit by a private group of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on October 29-30 witnessed a sudden spike in protests in the Valley.

According to the police data, from just one report of stone pelting on October 28, the number of such incidents shot up to 51 on October 29. The stone pelting resulted in unprecedented damage to vehicles, with more than 100 private cars affected.

“The month of October saw very few incidents of stone pelting, with the number of clashes on a daily basis reported to be in single digit in Kashmir,” the police observed in the report.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 2:26:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/over-5000-youth-political-workers-freed-in-kashmir/article29881800.ece

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