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In a massive crackdown, J&K Police has arrested more than 600 protesters across Kashmir in the last few days. Most of the arrests — over 350 — have been made in three south Kashmir districts of Kulgam, Pulwama and Anantnag which have seen massive protests and maximum civilian casualties following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter last month.
For the past five days, the Special Operation Group of J&K Police and paramilitary forces have started conducting night raids in different parts of the Valley and arrested several people. Sources said that the police are identifying the troublemakers using videography, human intelligence and pictures.
Police said that some of those against whom there was strong evidence of stone-pelting and organising protests have been booked under the Public Safety Act. “We have clear evidence that some people who were involved in stone pelting in previous years were found to be playing an active role in organising protests and instigating people this time. Some of them have been arrested, while many are still at large’’ a senior police officer told The Indian Express.
“In the drive against the hooligans and miscreants, 349 people have been arrested in the Valley. Also 122 have been detained under prohibitory provisions of law,” said J&K Police spokesman.
Over a dozen youths, involved in playing pro-freedom songs and songs eulogising militancy in the mosques, were also picked up by the police. Some of them were later released. Most of those arrested have been lodged at Jammu’s high-security Kotbalwal jail.