Many arrested in Kashmir, released after revocation of Article 370

Srinagar: Sameer Bhat’s family is grieving at his home in Khrew South Kashmir. A PSA or a Public Safety Act has been slapped against the 21-year-old truck driver. The family alleges that two days before the Eid festival on 12th August, a police party came knocking at their door in the night. They were looking for Sameer. The family says that the police informed them that Sameer was a stone pelter. They arrested his father Manzoor in exchange for Sameer when they didn’t find him. According to Manzoor, police told him that they will release him only after Sameer surrenders. A day later when Sameer presented himself before the police, Manzoor was released.

On Eid day, Manzoor went to the police station to meet his son, but he was not there. He then went to the police station in Pampore and later to Awatipore police line looking for Sameer. But couldn’t find him at both places. Finally, 10 days after his arrest, the family tracked Sameer to Srinagar Central Jail.

“The police told us that they have a photo of him pelting stones and that he has been moved to the central jail. We went to the central jail in Srinagar and met him there”, said Manzoor Ahmad. “We have taken the legal route and approached the high court for his release”.

1500 to 4000 people have reportedly been arrested in Kashmir after the scrapping of Article 370. But while many arrests are taking place many are being released as well.

“If there are arrests taking place, releases are taking place also, of some people who do not pose a threat to peace and through whatever other mechanisms as may be necessary”, Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal said.

Showkat Ali in Bandipore district was released five days after he was arrested. The 27-year-old says that he was not treated badly by the police.
“I was taken from my home at midnight, the police were very polite, they did not torture me”, Showkat said, “Public Safety Act has been slapped against five men from Bandipore.”

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