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Authorities detain thousands of people in IHK as curfew continues for 15th day

Thousands of people have been arrested by Indian authorities in occupied Kashmir as curfew and other restrictions continued for the 15th day on Monday, following the Indian government’s abolition of the special status of the occupied valley.

Authorities have detained thousands of people over fears of unrest after New Delhi stripped the region of its autonomy two weeks ago. A magistrate confided to AFP that at least 4,000 people had been arrested and held under the Public Safety Act (PSA) — a controversial law that allows the authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.

At least 4,000 people have been arrested under the black Public Safety Act (PSA) over the past two weeks, a magistrate told AFP in Srinagar.

The revelations came as the family of a timber trader alleged he died after choking on the tear gas fired by the security forces. “The security forces first damaged the property and when he went out to check, they fired tear gas shells and because of the smoke, he suffocated and died,” Muddasir Ahmed, the nephew of 62-year-old Sidiq Khan, told AFP Sunday. The authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

One youth died in the early days of the lockdown after he jumped into a river while being chased by police. Authorities have repeatedly declined to provide a tally of how many people have been taken into custody, apart from confirming more than 100 local politicians, activists and academics were detained in the first few days after the state was stripped of its semi-autonomous status.

An Indian government spokesman, Rohit Kansal said previously there was “no centralized figure” for the total number of people detained, but AFP spoke to numerous government officials in Srinagar, including police and forces’ personnel, who confirmed the sweeping arrests.

Meanwhile, the authorities have turned the valley, particularly Srinagar, into a military garrison by deploying Indian troops and police personnel in every nook and corner as curfew and other restrictions entered its 15th day today.

In Srinagar, thousands of troops and policemen are patrolling the deserted streets, lanes and by-lanes to thwart any attempt of people to stage anti-India demonstrations.

The authorities also continue to impose information blockade as tv channels and internet links remain snapped and restrictions on media continue since 5th August. After a short relief, mobile and internet services have been once again suspended in five districts of Jammu region.

A big anti-India protest demonstration was held at Shahabad, Verinag in Dooru area of Islamabad. A girl and a little child were injured when forces resorted to brute force on the protesters.

Almost all Hurriyat leaders, including Syed Ali Gilani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq continue to remain under house arrest or in jails.

Over 900 political leaders and workers including even pro-India politicians like Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti, Ghulam Ahmed Mir, Engineer Abdur Rasheed and Shah Faesal have been detained.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday said the Hindu supremacist Modi government posed a threat to Pakistan as well as to the minorities in India, and in fact to the very fabric of Nehru and Gandhi’s India.

In a series of tweets, he said, “To understand the link between the Nazi ideology & the ethnic cleansing & genocide ideology of RSS-BJP Founding Fathers just Google”.

The world, he emphasised, must also seriously consider the safety and security of India’s nuclear arsenal in the control of fascist, racist Hindu supremacist Modi government. This is an issue that impacts not just the region but the world, he added.

He also wrote that already four million Indian Muslims faced detention camps and cancellation of citizenship. “The world must take note, as this genie is out of the bottle and the doctrine of hate and genocide, with RSS goons on the rampage, will spread unless the international community acts now to stop it.

“And the threat also extends to Pakistan, the minorities in India and in fact the very fabric of Nehru and Gandhi’s India. One can simply Google to understand the link between the Nazi ideology & ethnic cleansing & genocide ideology of the RSS-BJP Founding Fathers,” he maintained.

The prime minister further wrote, “India has been captured, as Germany had been captured by Nazis, by a fascist, racist Hindu supremacist ideology & leadership.” He said the Nazi ideology of the Modi government threatened 9 million Kashmiris under siege in the Indian Held Kashmir for over two weeks which should have sent alarm bells ringing across the world with UN observers being sent there.

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