Posted Sun, 07/25/2010 – 12:01
Srinagar, July 24: The authorities have so far detained 41 persons including separatists and youth under infamous Public Safety Act (PSA) in the month long unrest in Valley while 638 youth have been booked under different charges.
An official working in the police headquarters said 23 persons including senior separatist Syed Ali Geelani and Kashmir Bar Association president Mian Abdul Qayoom have been booked under PSA by police. “The figure comprises people detained under PSA in various district headquarters,” he said.
Though police officials in Srinagar don’t reveal the exact number of people detained under PSA, sources said apart from separatists, three youth were booked under PSA in Safakadal and one each in Gojwara and Nowhatta.
A police official said 18 arrest warrants under PSA have been issued in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. “A youth has been detained and booked under PSA while 17 others against whom arrest warrants have been issued have fled from their houses and are absconding. We have launched a manhunt to track them,” he said.
In Islamabad district, where three youth died in police firing a fortnight back, three persons have been arrested and booked under PSA.
Many people, mostly youth have also been booked under PSA in Baramulla and Sopore townships. However, the officials refused to divulge any information.
They said some separatists and “habitual stone pelters” were booked under PSA before the “Sopore Chalo” on June 29. “We thought they would mobilize people for protests in the wake of killings and accordingly booked them. As the protest demonstrations and stone pelting continued, more youth were booked under PSAs”.
The official said more dossiers are being prepared in order to control the wave of protests in Valley.
Meanwhile, the officials in police headquarters said 638 protesters have been incriminated in different cases. “In many cases, the protesters have been arrested under section 307, which amounts to attempt to murder”.
Valley has been on a boil after the killing of 17-year-old Tufail Matoo allegedly in police action on June 11. Since then 16 more persons including a 25-year old woman have died in alleged police and CRPF firing across Valley, triggering massive anti-India protests, prompting authorities to impose curfew and restrictions. The separatists have responded by calling for strikes and protests.