Police arrest 200 youth
Ahead of polling in Baramulla-Kupwara parliamentary constituency, police have cracked down on youth in north Kashmir areas and arrested 200 of them in the past three days. Reports said the cops conducted raids at various places and arrested scores of youth, claiming they were “previously involved in protests and stone-pelting.” However, their families denied the police charges as baseless.
Official sources said 200 youth have been detained in the past three days and more arrests are in the offing.
The arrests have been mostly made in Sopore, Baramulla, Palhalan, Rafiabad, Kupwara and Handwara. Besides, the arrestees include activists of various separatist organizations.
Reports said for the past two days police is carrying out nocturnal raids in parts of north Kashmir to detain youth. Some reports said youth are also being called to police stations and later detained.
In Rafiabad area of Baramulla, more than a dozen youth have so far been detained. On Saturday, police arrested a noted scholar and writer Dr Ghulam Qadir Lone of Hudipora, Rafiabad.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, North Kashmir, denied commenting on the issue. However, a senior police official called the arrested youth as “trouble makers” and “stone-throwers who have been taken into preventive custody to ensure peaceful polls.”
“We will not allow anyone to create trouble during the elections and more arrests are expected in coming days,” he added.
The massive arrests were made in the wake of widespread stone-throwing incidents in south Kashmir during the Lok Sabha polls on April 24.
The police crackdown on youth and pro-freedom activists has drawn criticism and condemnation from different quarters.