Conflict

Arrival of forces, arrests of leaders, separatists to ensure free and fair elections in the state: Police

Srinagar: The crackdown on Jamat-e-Islami and the additional deployment of armed police forces is “purely” part of an election exercise undertaken to ensure free and fair polls in Jammu and Kashmir, KNS reported.

Quoting a top police official, news gathering agency KNS reported: “the arrival of Central forces and arrests of leaders and activists of separatist groups including Jamat-e-Islami is part of election exercise undertaken to ensure free and fair elections in the state along with other parts of the country.”

The official, according to the report, said they won’t allow any election boycott campaign by the separatists. “… and all such people including separatists will be detained to ensure incident free fair and transparent elections in the state.”

He advised people not to panic because of reports of additional deployment of forces in the valley.

Peoples Conference Chairman Sajad Lone has questioned the detention of Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat leaders in nocturnal raids on Friday.

Earlier, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday while reacting over the crackdown on Jammat and Hurriyat leaders said that such a move will only precipitate matters in the state.

Earlier, on Friday night, cops detained JKLF chief Mohammad Yasin Malik from his residence.

In a massive crackdown on Jamaat-e-Islami, dozens including the top leadership were also detained during night raids in Kashmir.

In a statement, a JeI spokesman said the police and other forces launched a “mass arrest drive” during the intervening night of February 22 and 23 and arrested dozens of its central and district-level leaders.

“Article 35(A) which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, is being heard within days and the way forces personnel unleashed the spree of mass arrest and detained dozens of Jama’at members prior to the hearing seems something is hatching behind the curtains,” said the spokesman, adding: “Any attempt of eroding or tempering Article 35(A) is unacceptable for people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Jamaat spokesperson said in a statement.

Moreover, the Home Ministry of India has called for an urgent deployment of hundred more companies of central armed forces in Kashmir.

We have to urgently deploy CAPFs in Jammu & Kashmir. It is requested to provide 100 coys of CAPFs (CRPF – 45,BSF-35,SSB-10 & ITBP 10) to Govt of J&K with immediate effect and till further orders. IG (ops), CRPF is requested to ensure immediate movement of forces in coordination with IG (ops) of all forces,” read a Home Ministry letter to the state government, copies of which have been also sent to IG(Ops) to CRPF, BSF, ITBP and SSB.

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