By Shuriah Niazi
NEW DELHI, India (AA) - Many of thousands of people including politicians, activists and common people who were detained in Indian-administered Kashmir after the Indian government revoked special status of Jammu and Kashmir last month were moved to jails outside the state.
In northern Indian city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, which is famous for the Taj Mahal, many Kashmiri families have been visiting the city just to meet their near and dear ones lodged in jail.
Ishtiaq Ahmed came all the way from Kashmir to meet his 42-year-old son. He travelled from Srinagar to New Delhi and from there to Agra. He had a meeting for almost 20 minutes with his son. He was not interested in sharing more details about his meeting with his son.
According to local sources, 292 people from Jammu and Kashmir have been lodged in different jails of Uttar Pradesh. 85 of them are in Agra jail. According to jail authorities, those lodged in jail in Agra include politicians, students, Islamic preachers and businessmen.
Speaking to The Indian Express earlier, Sanjeev Tripathi, DIG (Prisons), Agra Zone, said: “Prisoners have been brought to various jails from Kashmir. Currently, 85 prisoners are lodged in the Agra Central Jail. They were transferred under high-security observation, and traffic route diversions were made. It is possible that more prisoners could be brought in. Their families, after due verification, will be allowed to meet them in the coming weeks. No other changes have been made in the prison to accommodate them.”
Jammu and Kashmir is under near-complete lockdown since Aug. 5 after India scrapped the special provisions. India blocked communications and imposed strict restrictions to thwart any rebellion while political leaders in the region have been detained as the right groups repeatedly called on New Delhi to lift the restrictions and release political detainees.
Meanwhile, restrictions were lifted from most parts of Kashmir on Saturday, but remained in force in the Handwara area of Kupwara district as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, said news agency Press Trust of India(PTI).
Officials said restrictions have been eased out in most areas of Kashmir, said PTI.
Security deployment remained in vulnerable areas and mobile and internet services were yet to be restored in most parts of the Valley 48 days after the government revoked special status of the state.