SRINAGAR — Police on Tuesday arrested and booked around a dozen women activists including the sister and daughter of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah in Srinagar city after they came out on roads protesting against the revocation of special constitutional status and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories by the central government.
A group of women activist, reportedly, arrived in central Srinagar carrying placards reading slogans like “Respect Fundamental Rights, release All Detainees, Dignity and Justice for All.” They wore black arm bands as a mark of protests.
Abdullah’s sister Suraiya and his daughter Safiya were reportedly leading a group of women activists.
The women protestors were not allowed by the police personnel to assemble and were asked to disperse peacefully. However, the protestors refused to disperse and tried to stage a sit-in.
The women CRPF personnel rounded the protestors into police vehicles and taken to nearby police station before being shifted to Srinagar’s central jail.
However, the protesters issued a written press statement denouncing the revocation of special status and bifurcation of state into two Union territories.
“We the women of Kashmir disapprove the unilateral decision taken by the government of India to revoke Article 370, 35A and downgrade and split the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement said, reports PTI.
“We express our outrage against the national media for their false/misleading coverage of ground realities in Kashmir,” the statement added.
According to a local correspondent’s details, the detained were booked after arrest and have been taken to Srinagar’s central jail. “But the jail authorities have refused them entry into jail owing to lack of space,” a reporter told Caravan Daily over phone. Authorities were not readily accessible for confirmation.
Among the protesting women, 12 were Kashmiris and one was a non- Kashmiri rights activist. They included sister (Suraiya) and daughter (Safiya) of Farooq Abdulla, Kashmir’s senior most pro-India politician who is currently detained at his home in Srinagar under the controversial Public Safety Act.
In the hours preceding the announcement of decision regarding Kashmir on Aug. 5 in Indian Parliament, government launched a large scale crackdown on Kashmiris, detaining thousands including politicians, civil society members and even children as young as nine. Many of those arrested were taken away and lodged in jails faraway from Kashmir.