Authorities have arrested more than 4,000 people in Kashmir after New Delhi’s decision to cancel self-rule two weeks ago, government sources said yesterday.
A judge, who asked not to be named, said the arrests were made under the controversial Public Safety Law, which allows authorities to arrest anyone for two years without charge or trial, according to Agence France-Presse.
"Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because the prisons in the area no longer accommodated them," the judge said, adding that he had used a satellite phone dedicated to him to collect these figures from his colleagues across the area, where authorities had cut off communications.
Authorities have repeatedly refused to specify the number of detainees, with the exception of confirming the detention of more than 100 local officials, activists and academics in the first few days after the government's decision to abolish autonomy.
The authorities said there had been "a few preventive arrests" to avoid a "breach of peace" in the region, which has been undergoing an insurgency against Indian rule for three decades.