World Bulletin / News Desk
Ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to the disputed Kashmir region, police have launched a crackdown on the pro-independence leadership, detaining hundreds of activists.
According to Indian police, the decision was taken after the Indian Home Ministry asked the regional government to keep an eye on all pro-independence leaders in the region.
A large protest is planned on the same day when Modi is scheduled to visit Jammu Kashmir on Nov. 7.
“We have detained dozens of leaders due to their protest plan,” a senior Indian police official said. “Hundreds of activists have been arrested so far.”
Indian police also started scanning social networking pages that are encouraging the planned march.
Kashmir pro-independence leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani said that the Indian government is taking these steps to “crush the voices of the people”.
“The people are under occupation,” Geelani said. “The Indian government does not want people in the valley to express their own views.”
Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in parts and claimed by both in full.
The two countries have fought three wars -- in 1948, 1965 and 1971 – since they were partitioned in 1947, two of which were fought over Kashmir.
Since 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups in India-occupied Kashmir have been fighting against Indian rule for independence or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.
More than 70,000 people have been killed so far in the violence, most of them by Indian forces. India maintains over half a million soldiers in India-occupied Kashmir. A part of Kashmir is also held by China.Last Mod: 06 Kasım 2015, 13:40