Pulwama fallout: Major crackdown on separatists, additional troops rushed to J&K

Pulwama fallout: Major crackdown on separatists, additional troops rushed to J&K

Pulwama fallout: Major crackdown on separatists, additional troops rushed to J&K

The latest development comes just two days after the Centre revoked the security cover of 18 separatist Kashmiri leaders.

Police said Saturday that they went to neighborhoods overnight and rounded up the leaders and activists of mainly Jama'at-e-Islami, a political-religious group that espouses the right to self-determination for Kashmir, a Himalayan territory divided between India and Pakistan but claimed by both wholly.

The deployment of 10,000 additional paramilitary troops in Jammu and Kashmir is a routine pre-election exercise ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, Home Ministry sources said Saturday. The crackdown was launched against pro-freedom leaders and activists.

"Any attempt of eroding or tempering with Article 35-A is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir", the JI said. "You can imprison a person but not his ideas", said PDP president Mehbooba Mufti.

The arrests led to violent scenes in parts of Kashmir, with stone-throwing protestors met by police firing tear gas.

The crackdown on the separatists has come close on the heels of the deadly terror attack in the southern district of Pulwama in which 49 CRPF personnel were killed and several others wounded on February 14.

The clampdown on separatists started on Friday night when JKLF chief Yasin Malik was arrested and shifted to a police station around 11 p.m.

"The Jamaat has issued a statement condemning the detentions and said, ".The move is a well-designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region".

Chairman Yasin Malik has been arrested in a crackdown on leaders in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK), Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said on Saturday. Pakistan warned India against linking it to the attack without an investigation, and offered a dialogue to resolve all issues, including Kashmir.

Article 35A, incorporated into the Indian Constitution in 1954, grants special rights and privileges to the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir. She wrote, "In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders & workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Those detained also include Jamaat Ameer (chief) Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz, spokesman-advocate Zahid Ali, Ghulam Qadir Lone, Abdur Rouf, Mudasir Ahmad, Abdul Salam, Bakhtawar Ahmad, Mohammad Hayat, Bilal Ahmad, Ghulam Mohammad Dar".

"Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified?" tweeted the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir.

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