Over 150 people arrested in massive crackdown in IOK

India to deploy 100 additional companies of troops

Srinagar, February 23 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian police and troops have launched a massive crackdown arresting over 150 people including pro-freedom leaders and activists.

Indian police took the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front Chairman, Muhammad Yasin Malik, into custody after raiding his Maisuma residence in Srinagar and lodged him at Kothibagh police station.

Indian troops and police arrested dozens of leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami of the occupied territory from their residences during nocturnal raids across the occupied territory. Those arrested included JI Ameer, Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz, Advocate Zahid Ali, Ghulam Qadir Lone, Abdur Rauf, Mudassir Ahmed, Abdul Salam, Bakhtawar Ahmed, Muhammad Hayat, Bilal Ahmed and Ghulam Muhammad Dar.

The JI in a statement termed the crackdown a well-designed conspiracy to further add to the already deteriorated situation in occupied Kashmir. It said that something seemed fishy at this moment when petitions challenging Article 35-A were listed in Indian Supreme Court. Article 35-A grants special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir and debars non-Kashmiris from purchasing property in the territory. Narendra Modi-led BJP government through its agents wants to abrogate the Article 35-A by using judiciary to pave way for settling Indian citizens in occupied Kashmir thus changing the demographic composition of the territory.

“Any attempt of eroding or tempering with Article 35-A is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir,” the JI said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in a statement condemned the arrest of Muhammad Yasin Malik and the crackdown on the JI leadership, saying force and intimidation will only worsen the situation.

“Strongly condemn the nocturnal crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami leadership and cadres and the arrest of Yasin Malik. Such illegal and coercive measures against Kashmiris are futile and will not change realities on ground. Force and intimidation will only worsen the situation,” he said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League in a statement also condemned the continued house arrest of party Chairman, Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, and crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami leaders and cadres and the arrest of other Hurriyat leaders and activists.

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