500 arrested in Kashmir, clampdown challenged in Indian SC



Indian security forces have arrested more than 500 people since New Delhi imposed a communications blackout and security clampdown in occupied Kashmir, where people remained holed up in their homes for a fourth day on Thursday.
The rigorous security measures followed India’s decision this week to revoke the special status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and downgrade the Himalayan region from statehood to a territory.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s national security adviser, Ajit Doval, visited the region on Wednesday to assess the law and order situation.
A petition has been filed in India’s top court challenging the lockdown. Opposition Congress party activist Tehseen Poonawalla said he expected the Supreme Court to hear his petition seeking immediate lifting of curfew and other restrictions, including blocking of phone lines, internet and news channels in Kashmir. He also sought the immediate release of Kashmiri leaders who have been detained, including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had vehemently opposed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to revoke occupied Kashmir’s special status, was reportedly detained at the Srinagar airport Thursday and was asked to return to New Delhi, India Today reported.

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