More than 500 Kashmiris detained in latest India clampdown

More than 500 Kashmiris detained in latest India clampdown
Kashmiris have protested changes to the region's special status.
2 min read
08 August, 2019
Kashmir is in clampdown following India's ruling [Getty]
More than 500 people have been detained in India's latest clampdown in the disputed Kashmir region, media reported on Thursday.

Among those arrested are Kashmiri leaders including Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, who members of India's Congress Party have petitioned the Supreme Court to seek their release.

Activist Ali Mohammed told the New Delhi Television news channel that he has been organising ambulances to bring the sick to hospitals in Srinagar, the main city in India’s portion of Kashmir.

It follows a telecommunications, news internet blackout with local residents unable to use their phones to ask for medical help.

"It's hell," a patient told the television channel.

The Supreme Court in India will also hear a petition on whether to ease restrictions which began after India ruled to change the special status of the Kashmir region, which included an end to its rights to make its own laws.

The change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir has been condemned by Pakistan and its ally China, while the US have also urged caution. 

India on Thursday hit back at Pakistan's downgrading of diplomatic ties over its clampdown on Kashmir, saying its decision to strip the restive region of its autonomy was an "internal affair".

"The recent developments pertaining to Article 370 are entirely the internal affair of India," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

"Seeking to interfere in that jurisdiction by invoking an alarmist vision of the region will never succeed."
Muslim-majority Kashmir is partitioned between Pakistan and India who have fought two of their three wars over the issue of sovereignty.