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Kashmir's most important political leaders arrested by India since 5 August | India News



Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir – Indian government has carried out a major crackdown on political leaders in Indian-administered Kashmir and arrested high-profile figures which include three former prime ministers in the Muslim majority state. [19659002] The arrests coincided with the repeal of decades-old Article 370 of the Indian Constitution which protected the demographics of Jammu and Kashmir State and gave it a limited autonomy.

It is not clear how many politicians or activists who have been arrested since August 5 – the day Article 370 was repealed – since the administration has not provided any figures.

The decision to scrap Kashmir's special status and divide it into two "union territories" controlled by New Delhi sparked unmatched tensions in the disputed region and increased hostilities with Pakistan, which also claims the disputed Himalayan territory in its entirety.

Here is a slump on prominent Kas hmiri politicians and leaders currently under arrest:

Farooq Abdullah, 83

  Kashmir

Farooq Abdullah is President of Kashmir's oldest party and Member of Parliament of India [File: AP]

Farooq Abdullah, patriarch of Kashmir's powerful Abdullah family who ruled the former Jammu and Kashmir state for several decades and produced three prime ministers, remains in his home in the heavily guarded Gupkar Road area of ​​the capital Srinagar.

The 83-year-old leader is the president of the National Conference, Kashmir's oldest political party, and is currently a member of India's parliament from the prestigious Srinagar seat.

The pro-Indian leader had also been prime minister in the Muslim majority state three times.

During his long political career, Farooq often invoked Article 370 and called it a "matter of honor" for the Kashmiris.

Farooq is the son of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, who led a political movement for two decades for a people in Jammu and Kashmir, which would enable its residents to decide whether they want a merger with India or Pakistan, or become an independent state.

Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was arrested by India in 1953. He later reached an agreement with the Indian government in 1975 which saw him become prime minister.

Omar Abdullah, 49

  Omar Abdullah

Omar Abdullah, and articulated politician, has over 3 million Twitter followers [File: Dar Yasin/AP]

Another former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar, is the third generation leader of the National Conference, the party founded by his grandfather Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and currently led by his father Farooq. [19659004] Omar was arrested on August 5, the day Kashmir's special status was scrapped, and filed at Hari Niwas, a state-run guesthouse near the banks of Srinagar's iconic Dal Lake.

His arrest caught many people by surprise because he was seen as being close to the Indian government. He was a foreign minister in a coalition government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two decades ago.

Between 2009-2015, Omar was Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir in the alliance with the Congress Party. He reportedly shares a close rapport with leading Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi.

One of the most articulate politicians in the region, Omar has more than 3 million followers on Twitter.

Mehbooba Mufti, 60

  India and Kashmir

Mufti's party was in alliance with the BJP, which withdrew support forcing her to resign as prime minister [File: Mukhtar Khan/AP]

Mehbooba Mufti would go down in history as the last prime minister in Jammu and Kashmir, as the region has now been brought under central control.

Her political career has seen her paddling between extremes. During her first years in politics, she adopted what was called a "soft-separatist agenda" because of her support for the families of Kashmiri rebels who were tortured and killed by the Indian forces.

Mufti was arrested on August 5, moments after Article 370 was repealed. She has been lodged at Chashm-e-Shahi, the official guesthouse of the state government.

Her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was India's interior minister and twice the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Sayeed died in 2016 when he was heading for a government in alliance with the BJP.

Sayeed was succeeded by Mehbooba as Prime Minister and President of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), which enjoys great support in southern Kashmir.

Mehbooba had compared the repeal of Article 370 with the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Shah Faesal, 36

   Shah Faesal

Ex-bureaucrat Faesal was once described as a "role model" for Kashmiri youth [File: Reuters]

Shah Faesal was described as a "role model" for Kashmiri youth when he topped the prestigious Indian Administrative Service (IAS) degree 2010.

But he ended the bureaucracy earlier this year citing "unabated assassinations in Kashmir" and floated his own party Jammu Kashmir Political Movement (JKPM).

Faesal called his departure from IAS a "resilience to remind the Indian government of its responsibilities" to Jammu and Kashmir.

The young leader looked to emulate the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's signature "shalwar-kameez" (traditional dress) which he wore at his political rallies.

On August 14, Faesal was stopped at New Delhi Airport when he reportedly fled to Istanbul and was taken to Srinagar, where he is being held. His current location is unknown.

Syed Ali Geelani, 89

  India Kashmir

Geelani is one of the most popular leaders in the disputed Kashmir valley [File: Dar Yasin/AP]

A former legislator of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, Syed Ali Geelani is a veteran Kashmiri separatist and is known for advocating the merger of the region with Pakistan.

He is a member of the separatist front "Hurriyat" or Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), which last year demanded suspension in the Kashmir Valley every time the Supreme Court of India heard petitions requesting the revocation of Article 35A, a special law under Article 370 which did not prevent -Kashmiris from buying land in the region.

Geelani and his family have been investigated by the Indian National Investigation Agency (NIA) for allegedly financing "terrorist activities", allegations that the veteran leader denies and calls it a witch hunt.

Geelani has been detained in his home on the outskirts of Srinagar, where he has remained in prison n for most of the last nine years due to his significant turn in the region.

However, he is reported to be unhealthy and has not commented on recent developments.

Umar Farooq, 46

  India Kashmir

& # 39; Mirwaiz & # 39; Umar Farooq speaks inside the Grand Mosque in Srinagar [File: Dar Yasin/AP]

A separatist and a religious scientist, Umar Farooq belongs to the Mirwaiz family, who is the custodian of Srinagar's largest Jamia mosque, a nerve center for clashes between protesters and security forces.

Farooq was more commonly known as "Mirwaiz" and was also questioned by the NIA earlier this year over allegations of "terrorist financing".

A member of the JRL as Geelani, Umar had often described Article 370 as an "article of faith".

It is not clear if Farooq has been detained in his Srinagar residence or lodged at a police station.

Mian Abdul Qayoom, 69

  Kashmir India

Reports say that Qayoom has been taken to a prison in the north Indian city of Agra [File:Getty Images]

Attorney Mian Abdul Qayoom is the president of the Kashmir Law Society. He was also questioned by the NIA over alleged "terrorist financing".

Qayoom was arrested and reportedly moved outside Kashmir to a prison in the northern Indian city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh state. It is also not clear on what reason he was arrested.

An Indian-administered Kashmir official told Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity that "over 1,000 people have been arrested, including politicians, separatists and activists".

Indian authorities said on Saturday that they have started to relax restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.

At a news conference this week, the region's secretary general BVR Subrahmanyam said that "preventive detention is reviewed and appropriate decisions will be made based on law and order assessments".


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