As The Post’s Niha Masih reported from Srinagar, streets are no longer crowded with civilians but awash with India’s armed soldiers, and “instead of traffic jams at intersections, there are spools of concertina wire. People remain inside their homes with no telephone, Internet or cable TV service. No one has seen or heard from local political leaders, hundreds of whom are in detention. Of the more than 200 newspapers in the region, only five are publishing physical copies. Their websites are stuck at Aug. 5.”
Members of student, faculty and alumni of the prestigious Harvard University have written a letter to the Government of India, asking it to reconsider the detention of Shah Faesal on Wednesday in Srinagar.
Shah Faesal was sent back from Delhi airport on Tuesday to Srinagar and he was later detained under the Public Safety Act.
According to a government official, at least 500 local leaders and activists have been arrested or detained across Kashmir since the beginning of last week.
Faesal is not the first Kashmiri politician to be detained in Srinagar over the past week. Since the Centre revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status by nullifying Article 370 and divided the state into two Union Territories, two former chief ministers – Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti – have been arrested and a third, Farooq Abdullah, is said to be under house arrest.
The order to arrest Mufti, the leader of People’s Democratic Party, also held in a Srinagar guest house, said her activities were likely to cause a “breach of peace”.