Arrest Spree: Relatives Queue Outside Police Stations 

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Srinagar:  As the crackdown against alleged stone-pelters continues across Kashmir, the relatives of incarcerated youth could be seen waiting outside different police stations to have a glimpse of those arrested on charges of stone-pelting. 

Thousands of people have been arrested by people across Kashmir since from past 95 days while more than hundred people have been booked under draconian Public Safety Act and shifted to outside Kashmir jails. However, there are hundreds of youth languishing in different police stations while outside those stations relatives mostly the mothers and sisters of the incarcerated youth are seen on daily basis to get them released.

 “My two sons Reyaz and Ishtiyaq have been lodged in this police station. Even my husband is also in the lock-up. I am eagerly waiting here with a hope to have interaction with them,” said a woman to news agency CNS who was waiting outside Raj Bagh Police Station. 

A lady from Rambagh area was seen waiting outside Saddar Police Station. She said that her son Bilal Ahmed was picked up by police a few days back. “He was part of a peaceful protest but he didn’t throw the stones. He is my lone son and I am waiting for his release,” she said.

The scene outside different police stations across Kashmir is similar. Mostly elderly persons including women are being seen with a hope to meet their arrested kids. “My grandson Farooq Ahmed was picked up by CRPF during a protest march and was handed over to police. Farooq Ahmed is running a religious seminary and is not a stone-pelter. We fail to understand why he has been kept in the lock-up,” said an elderly person from Bugam who was waiting outside police station Kulgam. 

A large number of people according to reports are also seen outside Hajin and Pattan police stations. “There are more than 30 youths in Pattan Police lock up. Twenty-six youth mostly from Palhalan area have been booked under Public Safety Act and shifted to various jails. We have been arriving here with a hope that police will not book my son under PSA,” said a father of a 19 years old son. 

Some people from South Kashmir’s Anantnag district alleged that police have arrested those youth who had been detained by them in 2008 and 2010 agitation. 

A top police official said that every arrest is made after proper verification. “We have proper videos of youth indulging in stone-pelting. Innocents are not being touched,” he said adding that there dozens of youth who are still evading arrests. 

Father, 2 sons arrested in nocturnal raid

Besides two teenagers, Police arrested father and his two sons during a nocturnal raid in Chanapora in the outskirts of Srinagar city, prompting the populace to hit to roads during the dead of night raising pro-freedom slogans.

Locals told news agency CNS that government armed forces in five to six vehicles raided few houses at Lone Mohalla Chanapora during the dead of the night. The police barged into the house on one Ali Muhammad Lone and bundled him into police vehicle along with his two sons Ishtyaq Ahmed Lone and Reyaz Ahmed Lone. Police also picked up two youth whom locals identified as Muhammad Maqbool and Abdul Qayoom. 

Locals added that as the police started raiding the houses, announcements were made on loudspeakers asking people to hit to roads. Police faced stiff resistance from agitated locals. The locals in hundreds took to roads and staged massive anti-India protest. Reports said that locals even staged protest on Wednesday afternoon and didn’t allow any private vehicle to pass through the road. 

Confirming the arrests, a police official said that ‘accused are not only involved in stone-pelting but they also incited people for trouble.’ “All the accused have been lodged in police station Rajbagh,” he said. 

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