New Delhi, Sept 26 (AP/UNB) — A Parliament member who is a senior pro-India politician in Indian-controlled Kashmir was arrested Monday under a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial.
Farooq Abdullah, 81, who also was the former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, was arrested at his residence in Srinagar, the summer capital of the disputed Himalayan region.
"We have arrested him, and a committee will decide how long the arrest will be," said Muneer Khan, a top police official.
Abdullah is the first pro-India politician who has been arrested under the Public Safety Act, under which rights activists say more than 20,000 Kashmiris have been detained in the last two decades.
Amnesty International has called the PSA a "lawless law," and rights groups say India has used the law to stifle dissent and circumvent the criminal justice system, undermining accountability, transparency, and respect for human rights.
Abdullah's residence was declared a subsidiary jail and he was put under house arrest on Aug. 5 when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist-led government in New Delhi stripped Jammu and Kashmir of semi-autonomy and statehood, creating two federal territories.
Thousands of additional Indian troops were sent to the Kashmir Valley, already one of the world's most militarized regions. Telephone communications, cellphone coverage, broadband internet and cable TV services were cut for the valley's 7 million people, although some communications have been gradually restored.
On Aug. 6, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah denied to the lower house of Parliament that Abdullah had been detained or arrested.
"If he (Abdullah) does not want to come out of his house, he cannot be brought out at gunpoint," Shah said, when other parliamentarians expressed concern over Abdullah's absence during the debate on Kashmir's status.
Many anti-India protesters as well as pro-India Kashmiri leaders have been held in jails and other makeshift facilities to contain protests against India's decisions, according to police officials.
Kashmir's special status was instituted shortly after India achieved independence from Britain in 1947. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in its entirety, but each controls only part of it.
India has often tried to suppress uprisings in the region, including a bloody armed rebellion in 1989. About 70,000 people have been killed since that uprising and a subsequent Indian military crackdown.
Dhaka, Sept 16 (UNB) - Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has continued with his shrill pitch on Kashmir saying that a nuclear war with India is a possibility after New Delhi revoked the special status for Jammu and Kashmir.
Imran Khan, in an interview with Al Jazeera, said that Pakistan could lose in a conventional war with India, and then “there could be consequences”. He insisted that Islamabad will never start a nuclear war and he is “anti-war.”
“But I am clear that when two nuclear armed countries fight a conventional war, there is every possibility of it ending in a nuclear war. If I say Pakistan, God forbid, and in a conventional war, and we are losing, and if a country is stuck between two choices, either you surrender or fight to the death for your freedom. I know Pakistan will fight to the death for freedom, when a nuclear armed country fights to the death, there are consequences,” Imran Khan said.
Khan has been upping the rhetoric against India since the NDA government nullified Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
On Friday, at a rally in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, he had said that the situation in Kashmir will drive more Muslims towards extremism and people “will rise against India”. He also said that if the Kashmir issue is not resolved by the international community it could “impact world trade”.
India maintains that the changes in Kashmir are an internal matter and said Pakistan has no locus standi.
Last week, Pakistan had used the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session to target India and asked the UN body to ensure an end to restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir. New Delhi hit back saying that the Pakistani leadership was trying to promote cross-border terrorism.
At the UNHRC session, Paksitan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had accused India of turning Kashmir into the planet’s largest prison. New Delhi said the Pakistan foreign minister’s statement was a “fabricated narrative from the epicentre of global terrorism”.
On US President Donald Trump’s offer to intervene on the Kashmir issue, Imran Khan said “if he (Trump) intervenes, seriously intervenes, it is one way you can guarantee some sort of resolution.”
Trump had offered mediation on Kashmir during Imran Khan’s White House visit in July. The US president even said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked him to do so, the claim was swiftly denied by India. New Delhi said that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved bilaterally, and after Pakistan stops supporting terrorism.
After a meeting with PM Modi on the sidelines of the G7 summit in the French town of Biarritz, Trump said the PM feels he has the situation under control. Last week, Trump had said he was willing to help” India and Pakistan resolve the Kashmir issue if “they want”. A significant change in the usage of words, away from mediate” or “intervene. “I get along well with both countries very well. I’m willing to help if they want,” Trump said.
Hyderabad, Sep 15 (AP/UNB) — An official says a sightseeing boat has capsized on a swollen river in southern India, killing 12 people and leaving 35 others missing.
Andra Pradesh state's home minister, M. Sucharita, says there were 61 people — 50 passengers and 11 crew members, all of them Indian nationals — on board the boat when it capsized on the Godavari river on Sunday.
A search operation is underway to try to find the missing people.
Sucharita says 14 people who were wearing life jackets were rescued by local fishermen.
The accident occurred near Kachuluru village in East Godavari district, 380 kilometers (236 miles) east of the state's capital, Hyderabad. The boat was heading from Singanapalli to Papikondalu, a famous tourist spot.
Dhaka, Sept 14 (UNB) - Assam NRC Final List 2019: Assam’s final National Register of Citizens (NRC) list has been published online. Every family member can now check their final status online, reports The Indian Express.
Earlier this week, notifying the date for this publication, the Assam NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela had said adding that the time-frame for those excluded from the list to get the rejection order will be “announced shortly”.
“Whereas the final NRC publication on August 31, 2019, consisted only of supplementary lists, queries are being received about publication of results of all members of a family irrespective of their involvement in the Claims and Objections process. The results for the complete family will be available for display online from September 14, 2019. This display will be available only online,” Hajela in a press statement last Tuesday.
He added that they had also received queries regarding the issue of certified copies of rejection from final NRC from the public and the process of collection of the orders passed by the NRC officers was being carried out to “enable early availability of the same to the public to file appeals”.
More than 19 lakh people in Assam were left facing an uncertain future on August 31 as the final NRC was released, 14 years after a decision on it was first taken and four years after the exercise to compile it began in full swing under the monitoring of the Supreme Court. Of the 3,30,27,661 applicants, 3,11,21,004 made it, leaving out 19,06,657 residents of Assam.
New Delhi, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — Indian troops have killed a suspected militant during an operation in the northern part of the Indian-controlled Kashmir, the region's police chief said.
Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbagh Singh said that Asif Maqbool Bhat was killed in a brief shootout Wednesday morning in Sopore town. He said Bhat was a member of the Pakistan backed Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group.
Singh said Bhat was responsible for a recent shootout in which three members of a fruit trader's family and a 5-year-old girl were wounded, as well as an earlier shooting targeting a migrant laborer from India.
Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they won independence from Britain in 1947. Both claim the region in its entirety and have fought two wars over the territory.
India accuses Pakistan of training and arming insurgent groups that have been fighting since 1989 for Kashmir's independence from India or its merger with Pakistan. Pakistan denies that.
India's portion of the disputed territory has been on a security lockdown for more than five weeks after the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped the region of most of its autonomy.