Thousands Arrested and Detained in Kashmir Region as Communications Blackout and Lockdown Continues for More Than 2 Weeks

  • Authorities have arrested and detained thousands of people, the majority of who are young male demonstrators, in Kashmir as an internet and phone blackout continues along with a security lockdown for more than two weeks after the Indian government announced it was revoking Kashmir’s special status.
  • Police arrest statistics show that about 2,300 people have been detained in the Himalayan Valley, including “anti-India protesters as well as pro-India Kashmiri leaders who have been held in jails and other makeshift holding facilities.”
  • This current lockdown “began just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and its statehood, creating two federal territories.”
  • In response to the revocation of the special status under Article 370, “thousands of additional troops have flooded into the Kashmir Valley, already one of the world’s most militarized regions, to man steel- and barbed-wire checkpoints.”
  • Although landline and cellphone service, along with internet and cable TV were originally cut off, they have been restored in some places gradually.
  • In spite of the lockdown, “Kashmiris have staged near-daily protests since the Aug. 5 order” by Modi’s government.
  • According to police officials, “about 300 protests and clashes against India’s tighter control over Kashmir have taken place in recent weeks.”
  • There have been reports of young people throwing stones at paramilitary police who have deployed across the region.
  • One officer said: “These arrests have been made in the areas where there has been intensifying stone pelting in the last few days.”
  • With Muslim majority Kashmir’s special status removed, it means that “residents of all parts of India can buy property and compete for government jobs and college places, raising fears that it will be flooded with outsiders.”
  • On Monday, President Trump talked to Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan about reducing tensions over Kashmir.
  • After the calls, Trump posted on Twitter: “A tough situation, but good conversations!”

Reference Links

  • AP: Kashmir police say thousands detained in status-change sweep READ
  • Stars and Stripes: Kashmir police say thousands detained in status-change sweep READ
  • Dunya News: Thousands arrested in occupied Kashmir as curfew enters 16th day READ
  • Reuters: Authorities make more arrests in Indian Kashmir to deter protests READ

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