Around 400 people, including three business leaders and a university professor, mainstream and separatist activists have been rounded up by police in the latest crackdown in Kashmir, officials told The Indian Express.
Congress MP and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad is set to travel to Srinagar on Thursday, but sources said he is expected to be sent back from the airport.
Sources said business leaders Shakeel Qalander and Mubeen Shah were arrested. “They have been lodged in Central jail. Another business leader Yaseen Khan, who was questioned by NIA earlier, has also been arrested. Khan heads the Kashmir Economic Alliance…” said an official. “Hameeda Nayeem, who heads the Kashmir Centre for Social and Development Studies (KCSDS), has been detained. Her husband Nayeem Khan, a separatist leader, is already in jail,” said the official.
Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Qayoom has also been detained.
The family of Mubeen Shah, a former president of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, confirmed his arrest. “My cousin Dr Mubeen Shah was picked up on August 5 at around midnight from his home… he is diabetic and on heart medication… His wife was present when forces came to take him,” said a message sent out by a relative.
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PDP youth leader Waheed Parra’s relatives said he was among those detained but there was no official confirmation.
Amid the information blockade, Ishfaq Tantray, general secretary of the Kashmir Press Club, said: “In the absence of curfew passes and means of communication, it is impossible for journalists to work. We appeal to the Press Council of India and international journalist bodies to take up the issue of media gag.”