The police has finally swung into action as Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has decided to crack the whip against all those who are behind creating the current unrest. A senior police officer told this newspaper that over 600 protesters have been arrested in midnight raids across the valley in the last two days and the Public Safety Act (PSA) has been slapped against some of them. Mehbooba’s decision came after the administration failed to quell protests despite a continued curfew and curbs on the internet and pre-paid mobile service.
Recently, some youths who were responsible for orchestrating an attack on a police post in Bijbehara township of South Kashmir were slapped with PSA and were sent to Kathua Central Jail in Jammu. But the spate of arrests has resulted in a fresh wave of violence and protests. Even women in came out on the streets hundreds to press for the release of the youths.
CM Mufti came under attack from her own party leaders in South Kashmir for having given the go-ahead to the police to arrest stone-pelters.
The lawmakers in South Kashmir who belong to the opposition National Conference and Congress have appealed to the government to stop the police from arresting people. They alleged that the police was framing innocent youths in false cases. J&K Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmad Mir urged the Centre to take immediate political measures for the restoration of normalcy in the valley. “The arrests and the use of force are only making the situation more murky and dangerous in Kashmir,” Mir told the media. CM Mehbooba Mufti, who is also the state’s home minister, has told the police to launch a massive crackdown against the miscreants who are responsible for protests and violence on the streets of Kashmir. A police spokesman in Srinagar told the media that they have arrested 349 miscreants. But a senior police officer told this newspaper that they have arrested more than 600 youths so far and the numbers may jump further.