Thousands detained in Kashmir since autonomy stripped

Thousands detained in Kashmir since autonomy stripped

Thousands of people have been detained in Indian Kashmir over fears of unrest after New Delhi stripped the region of its autonomy two weeks ago, according to government sources.

A magistrate speaking on condition of anonymity said at least 4,000 people were arrested and held under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a controversial law that allows authorities to imprison someone for up to two years without charge or trial, AFP reported.

"Most of them were flown out of Kashmir because prisons here have run out of capacity," the magistrate said, adding that he had used a satellite phone allocated to him to collate the figures from colleagues across the Himalayan territory amid a communications blackout and lockdown imposed by authorities.

Authorities have repeatedly declined to provide a tally of how many people have been taken into custody, apart from confirming more than 100 local politicians, activists and academics were detained in the first few days after the state was stripped of its semi-autonomous status.

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