Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration Sunday refused to give information on the whereabouts of former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti who were taken into preventive custody last week, hours after the central government decided to revoke provisions of Article 370 and proposed bifurcation of the state into two union territories.
Addressing a press conference, government officials also refused to specify the sections imposed on the two detained Kashmiri leaders, even as fresh restrictions were imposed in Srinagar on the eve of Eid-al-Adha.
Jammu and Kashmir government spokesperson Rohit Kansal, Information Secretary M.K. Diwedi and Deputy Commissioner of Srinagar Syed Abid Rashid Shah were addressing the media in Srinagar’s Sarovar Portico Sunday.
Abdullah and Mufti are among other political leaders, lawyers and activists who were taken into preventive custody soon after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was abrogated.
A day before his detention, National Conference leader Abdullah had expressed apprehension that he was going to be placed under house arrest along with other mainstream leaders, while Peoples Democratic Party chief Mufti had called the development “ironic”.
Both leaders have not shared any post on social media since August 5.
Replying to queries, the officials also refused to give information on the total number of arrests made, the number of protests held and also on the figures of injuries or causalities if any since the Narendra Modi government’s decision on Kashmir.
Restrictions were reimposed in Srinagar city Sunday, ahead of Eid, within hours of the state administration relaxing curbs that were put in place last week.
Police personnel in the city were seen asking people to remain indoors or face legal action. Shop owners were asked to down shutters and several parts of the city remained barricaded.
A senior government official said the authorities were “anticipating violence”.
Kansal, however, said the administration has imposed these restrictions to ensure smooth celebration of Eid.
Speaking on the sidelines of the press meet, Diwedi said measures have been taken to stop individuals from instigating violence. Asked if the government had slapped the controversial Public Safety Act on any of the detained individuals, Diwedi said he was not in a position to comment.
“These curbs were imposed to avoid any law and order situation. Once things settle down, the detained individuals should come and talk to the government,” he said.
When asked for how long would the detained individuals be kept under preventive custody, Diwedi said, “For a year. And it can be extended.”