November 24, 2020

Kashmir: India uses ‘draconian law’ to extend house arrest of former chief ministers

Two former chief ministers of Indian-administered Kashmir have had their house arrest extended under a controversial detention law.

Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have been detained since 5 August when the Indian government stripped Kashmir of its partial autonomy.

The controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) allows detention without charge for up to two years.

The two leaders were set to be released on Thursday.

They have not been heard from since they were placed under house arrest.

Ms Mufti’s daughter, who is operating her Twitter account, hit out at the “autocratic” move.

Critics of the PSA have called it a draconian law.

The government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is believed to have detained thousands of people including activists, local politicians and businessmen in the days since it revoked the region’s special status. Many have been shifted to jails in cities outside the region.

The region was also placed under a communications blackout.

The BJP defended the decision, saying it was necessary to uphold law and order.

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