Srinagar: The police have arrested nearly a dozen women protesters including the sister and daughter of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar on Tuesday, October 15. The detainees have been shifted to the city’s central jail.
According to police sources, the protesters have been arrested for “violating prohibitory orders and breach of peace” and booked under sections 107 and 151 of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).
“They have violated prohibitory orders and therefore, a legal action has been taken against them,” a senior police official said.
The detained include a prominent rights activist Shushobha Bharve and prominent civil society members of Kashmir like Qurat ul Ain, Muslim Jan and Hawa Bashir.
The protest was held by women—all of whom are well known in the valley—at Srinagar’s Press Enclave at noon. The women were peacefully protesting, against the ongoing crisis and unilateral abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, carrying placards and wearing black-arm bands.
The protesters were demanding “restoration of civil liberties and fundamental rights of citizens.” “We feel betrayed, humiliated and violated as people. We demands immediate release of detainees,” the protesters said in a statement.
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The protesters also expressed outrage against what they called “the national media” alleging that the media outlets based in Delhi were propagating “false and misleading” information about the ground realities of Kashmir.
The police refused to divulge details about the protestors till late evening. Eye-witnesses told NewsClick that the women were bundled into police vehicles and later police sources informed that were taken to Srinagar central jail where they are believed to be held till the filing of this story.
Though the protesters did not number more than 15, but according to sources, the administration has directed them to keep a strong vigil and thwart attempts of protest.
Hundreds have been detained in Kashmir after government enforced a severe clampdown in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories. Those arrested include lawyers, businessmen, activists and politicians including former chief ministers of state – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. Farooq Abdullah has been detained under Public Safety Act (PSA).
Following the clampdown, the workers and politicians have been claiming that the space for mainstream politics is shrinking everyday due to the decisions taken by the central government.