Police arrests 280 youth in Kulgam, Kupwara ‘to ensure peaceful polling’

Nobody will be allowed to disrupt the poll process: IGP Kashmir

Police have arrested at least 280 youth from Kupwara and Kulgam districts of Kashmir in the past four days to “ensure peaceful polling” in the twin districts on December 3, officials said.
The crackdown, according to police, “is a precautionary measure to ensure incident-free elections.”
Kulgam district in south Kashmir and Kupwara district of north Kashmir is going to polls in the second phase on Tuesday.
Officials and witnesses said police carried out nocturnal raids and detained youth “without any provocation.” The police action, they said, has forced scores of youth to go into hiding.
“We don’t understand why police has launched a massive crackdown here,” said Abdul Rashid Mir of Kulgam. “For the past few days, cops are carrying out nocturnal raids in most parts of the district to detain youth.”
Reports said youth are also being called to police stations and later detained.
Reports from Kupwara and Handwara said cops conducted raids at various places and arrested scores of youth in the past four days, claiming they were “previously involved in protests and stone-pelting.” However, their families denied the charges as baseless.
Sources said due to the arrest spree, scores of youth in Kupwara and Handwara have gone into hiding.
Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Abdul Ghani Mir, admitted that 200 youth have been arrested in Kulgam, Kupwara and Handwara. He claimed most of them are stone-throwers and over-ground workers.
“To ensure violence-free polling in these areas, police has been taking preventive measures. We have arrested some 200 stone throwers and trouble mongers in these areas,” the IGP said, adding, “We have learnt a lesson from the first phase. We will ensure peaceful and impartial polling in the second phase.”