NEW DELHI: In the first admission by the government of arrests and detention of thousands in Jammu and Kashmir in view of its decision to scrap J&K’s special status, the Centre on Wednesday said that 5,161 preventive arrests were made in the region on or just before August 5, when the government announced scrapping of provisions of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories
Home Minister Amit Shah dismissed the “propaganda” about detentions of thousands of people and that human rights were violated. “609 people are in jail in the Valley as of Wednesday,” Shah said in Rajya Sabha. This number, he argued, was only 151 more than the number of people jailed at the same time last year — 458.
“There has been an incorrect propaganda going on that thousands of people are in custody,” Shah said.
In a written reply on the issue, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy said at present only 609 persons are under detention, of which 218 are stone-pelters.
He said preventive arrests were made in Kashmir “with a view to prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace and activities prejudicial to the security of the state and maintenance of public order”.
He added that those arrested included stone-pelters, miscreants, over-ground workers, separatists and political workers.
When asked whether Home Ministry was considering allowing a member of Lok Sabha from Srinagar, NC leader, Farooq Abdullah, to join in the winter session, Reddy argued, that Abdullah had been detained in the national interest.
“During Emergency (in 1975) you people arrested 36 MPs just to save 1 MP. People have been detained for national interest, to maintain law and order,” he said.
This statement led to protests by Congress in the House.