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Jammu & Kashmir: Top leaders in Indian occupied Kashmir arrested

6th Aug 2019
Jammu & Kashmir: Top leaders in Indian occupied Kashmir arrested

By Shuriah Niazi

 

NEW DELHI, India (AA): Former chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah, have been arrested on Monday evening, said media reports.

According to broadcaster New Delhi Television (NDTV), Mehbooba Mufti was taken from her home in Srinagar, capital of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, to a nearby government guest house. Omar Abdullah was also arrested.

Both the leaders had been placed under house arrest on Sunday night.

The Indian government had earlier in the day revoked the state’s special status, provided under Article 370, via presidential order.

India had granted this special status when the state, at that time a monarchy, acceded to the country soon after independence from British colonial rule in 1947. That gave the state independence over all matters except defence, foreign affairs, and communication. It was partly the bedrock of J&K’s decision to join India.

Hours before introducing the bills, the Modi government ensured a complete information blackout in Kashmir valley, the Muslim-majority region of the state.

India’s neighbour which has historically laid claim to the state. Internet, mobile, and telephone services have been cut off, and curfew has been imposed in capital Srinagar. Over 30,000 additional troops have been deployed in what is already among the world’s most militarised regions, with more on the way, according to Quartz.

Mehbooba Mufti, chief of People’s Democratic Party, in her tweet in the morning called today the “darkest” in Indian democracy and accused the government of having “sinister” designs, reacting to the government’s move of ending the state’s special status and bifurcating it.

”Today marks the darkest day in Indian democracy. Decision of J&K leadership to reject 2 nation theory in 1947 & align with India has backfired. Unilateral decision of GOI to scrap Article 370 is illegal & unconstitutional which will make India an occupational force in J&K,” Mufti said.

Omar Abdullah in his statement in the morning said: “The scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A raise fundamental questions on the State’s accession because that was done on the very terms enunciated in these Articles. The decisions are unilateral, illegal and unconstitutional and will be challenged as such by the National Conference. A long and tough battle lies ahead”.

Amnesty International India has condemned the Indian Government’s moves:

In a statement, the international rights group said New Delhi’s unilateral decision to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution without consulting the state’s inhabitants was likely to inflame prevailing tensions, alienate the local population and increase the risk of further human rights violations amidst a complete clampdown on civil liberties and communications blackout.

Amnesty International India chief Aakar Patel said the additional deployment of “thousands of security forces”, a blanket blockade of telephone and internet services and restrictions on peaceful assembly already “pushed the people of J&K to the edge.”

“To make matters worse, key political stakeholders have been placed under house arrest,” he said, underlining that important decisions were being made  by the parliament absent consultation with the local people.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Map of India including occupied Kashmir by US Government/Public Domain]

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