India’s government detained a minimum of 75 Kashmiri political leaders and activists to forestall political unrest. This is after an alliance of Kashmir’s regional political parties won a local election, leaders and a police official said on Saturday.
The District Council election which concluded early in the week, was the first such exercise. Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government last year revoked the special status of the Muslim-majority, Indian-controlled region. New Delhi then cracked down on the opposition and rounded up many people to preempt protests and violence.
The new detentions, including separatist leaders and members of the banned Jamat-e-Islami group. They were for preventive custody, said a senior police official, who asked to not be identified in line with official policy.
India and Pakistan have claimed all of the Kashmir region. Since the partition of British-ruled India into Muslim Pakistan and Hindu-majority India in 1947. Two of the three wars they have fought are over the Himalayan region.
The detentions undermine the decision of the people, said Imran Nabi Dar, spokesman for the National Conference. He is also a regional party and a key member of the alliance.
The alliance’s victory shows that Kashmiris haven’t accepted Modi’s decision to end Kashmir’s special status, said Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister and head of the National Conference.
After their release from lengthy detention, Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party. He announced the alliance in October to seek a peaceful restoration of Kashmir’s autonomy.
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