India holds 75 in Kashmir after local elections

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By Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR, India, December 26 (Reuters) – The Indian government has detained at least 75 Kashmiri political leaders and activists to prevent political unrest after an alliance of regional Kashmiri political parties won a local election, officials said on Saturday. leaders and a police official.

The district council election, which ended earlier this week, was the first such exercise since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government last year revoked the special status of the Muslim-majority region under Indian control. New Delhi then cracked down on the opposition and rounded up hundreds to prevent protests and violence.

The new detentions, including of separatist leaders and members of the banned Jamat-e-Islami group, were intended for preventive detention, said a senior police official, who asked not to be identified in accordance with official policy .

India and Pakistan have claimed the whole of the Kashmir region since the partition of India under British rule into a Muslim Pakistan and a predominantly Hindu India in 1947. Two of the three wars they fought have taken place. in the Himalayan region.

The detentions undermine the people’s verdict, said Imran Nabi Dar, spokesperson for the National Conference, a regional party and a key member of the alliance.

The alliance’s victory shows that the Kashmiris did not accept Modi’s decision to end Kashmir’s special status, said Omar Abdullah, former chief minister and head of the National Conference.

After their release from lengthy detention, Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, leader of the People’s Democratic Party of Jammu and Kashmir, announced the alliance in October to seek a peaceful restoration of Kashmir’s autonomy.

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