Kashmir witnesses biggest crackdown in 20 years

According to official figures of the state government, a total of 446 people have been arrested across Jammu and Kashmir in a week. Even as the state government struggles to curb  the protests in the Valley even after 92 days of lock down, the longest in Kashmir’s history, it has launched the biggest crackdown in more than two decades, conducting night-time raids across Kashmir.

Since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, J-K police have arrested close to 7000 people in the valley while more than 450 people have been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA), the highest number-ever in the Valley.

J-K police sources say that in addition to these figures, 1500 others are under detention in different police stations across Kashmir without any charges and their detention doesn’t reflect in the official records.

The official figures show that in the four districts of south Kashmir – Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama – the epicentre of current protests, more than 1821 civilians have been arrested and more than 500 detained under preventive detention. In central Kashmir – Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts – police have arrested close to 1700 persons and put more than 350 people under preventive detention. The number of arrests and preventive detentions in north Kashmir’s three districts – Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipore – is 1130 and 178 respectively.

The highest number of arrests have been made in Srinagar where more than a thousand people have been arrested and 129 put under preventive detention. This is followed by south Kashmir’s Pulwama district where more than 700 civilians have been arrested and close to 150 put under preventive detention. In Baramulla, the number of arrests and detentions is 671 and 63 respectively. The lowest number of arrests have been made in Kupwara district, the most volatile district in north Kashmir during the past three months. The official records show that more than 250 civilians were arrested and close to 100 detained in the district.

In north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, which was relatively calm this time, police have booked 107 people under the Act, the highest number in any district. This is followed by Pulwama where PSA has been slapped on more than 100 civilians. The lowest number of PSAs have been slapped in Ganderbal district where 18 people have been booked under it.

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