‘Not a single day since August 5 when no youth were picked up’

Srinagar, August 15 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, Indian police and troops have arrested dozens of youth from South Kashmir’s Pulwama and Shopian districts to prevent demonstrations against New Delhi’s decision of abrogating Article 370 of the Indian Constitution that granted special status to the territory.

A Pulwama resident, Tanveer Ahmed, told The Wire that the Indian forces have arrested dozens of local youth from the district since August 06. “Forces have been raiding residential areas, bundling youth into their vehicles and detaining them at undisclosed locations,” he said.

Tanveer Ahmad maintained that not a single day had passed since August 05 when the forces did not raid a village in the district and arrest youth.

A police official in Pulwama talking to The Wire claimed that there have not been any major protests or processions in the district since the day the government of India scrapped Article 370. “The situation is very calm, but very tense,” he said, adding, “There is a lot of anger among people.”

A head constable posted in the district confirmed that arrests have been made but refused to identify himself or comment further on the issue. He said that the ordinary people in the occupied territory were not the only ones who were angry. “There is anger among police as well. We have not been able to communicate with our families so far,” he said. “I am worried about my family and their well-being,” he added.

In Shopian district, youth told The Wire that the forces’ personnel had arrested several young men during nocturnal raids over the last few days. Abdul Ahad Dar, an octogenarian resident of the district, expressed dismay at the developments. “They will have long term consequences,” he said. One of the many to note the ‘brewing anger’ in the region, he added, “Who knows when this volcano will explode.”

The residents said that three youth were thrashed by the Indian Army on Tuesday without any reason.

On the other hand, addressing a press conference at a private hotel in Srinagar, Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Syed Javaid Mujtaba Geelani, confirmed that some people have been detained under the Public Safety Act while others have been taken into preventive custody. “We do not deny that there have been arrests,” he said. He, however, declined to reveal the number of persons arrested.


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