The Jammu and Kashmir administration has detained at least 75 Kashmiri political leaders and activists to “forestall political unrest after an alliance of Kashmir’s regional political parties won District Development Council (DDC) election,” Reuters quoting leaders and an unnamed police official reported.
The District Council election, concluded early this week, was the first such exercise since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government last year revoked the special status of the region. New Delhi then cracked down on the opposition and rounded up hundreds of people to preempt protests and violence. The new detentions, including pro-freedom leaders and members of the banned Jamat-e-Islami group, were for preventive custody, a senior police official, who asked not to be identified in line with official policy was quoted as saying by the news wire.
The alliance’s victory shows that Kashmiris have not 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, announced the alliance in October to seek a peaceful restoration of Kashmir’s autonomy.