Indian security forces detained 30 people overnight in Srinagar, local officials said on Tuesday, seeking to keep a tight lid on protests over the Bharatiya Janata Party government’s decision to strip the region of its autonomy. Crowds have demonstrated frequently in the city despite a severe clampdown on phone and internet services — imposed on August 5 and still in place, a ban on public gatherings and detentions of hundreds of political leaders and Kashmiri fighters who have long campaigned for secession from India.
Youth have pelted stones at paramilitary police deployed in Srinagar, and the latest detentions took place in parts of the city where such incidents have occurred, a police officer said.
“These arrests have been made in the areas where there has been intensifying stone pelting in the last few days,” the officer said. A local government official confirmed the latest detentions.
Last week, a magistrate had said that at least 4,000 people had been arrested and held under the Public Safety Act, a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial, since New Delhi stripped the restive region of its autonomy.
“Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity,” the magistrate had told AFP, adding that he had used a satellite phone allocated to him to collate the figures from colleagues across the Himalayan territory amid a communications blackout imposed by authorities.