India arrests hundreds in bid to thwart millions from marching in Kashmir


Authorities in Indian Occupied Kashmir have arrested hundreds of political activists and pro-independence leaders ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi s visit to the region.

Call for the million march has been given by the forum patronised by the veteran Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Gillani, and supported by other pro-freedom leaders and organisations to protest against the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Kashmir Valley on Saturday.

During the past few days, Indian police have raided several places across the territory, detaining hundreds of pro-independence leaders and activists to foil the march.

Hundreds of Hurriyat leaders and activists including Syed Ali Gillani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, Aasiya Andrabi, Fareeda Bahenji, Nayeem Ahmed Khan, Mohammad Yousuf Naqash, Syed Bashir Andrabi, Mohammad Yousuf Mir, Ghulam Nabi Sumjhi, Abdul Ahad Para, Ghulam Mohammad Khan Sopori, Mohammad Yaseen Attai, Muhammad Ramzan Khan, Farooq Ahmad Tawheedi, Mohammad Ayaz Akbar, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Syed Imtiyaz Haider, Mir Hafeezullah, Raja Merajudin Kalwal, Engineer Farooq Ahmad Khan, Peer Saifullah, Zafar Akbar Butt, Javaid Ahmad Mir, Hilal Ahmad War, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, Shabbir Ahmad Dar, Moulvi Bashir Ahmad, Noor Muhammad Kalwal, Showket Ahmad Bakhshi, Muhammad Ahsan Untoo, Shahid-ul-Islam and Fahmeeda Sofi have been detained in their houses or police stations to stop them from leading the march, the Kashmir Media Service reported.

Authorities have also blocked more than a dozen pages on social networking sites that were prompting the protest march, while a complete blockade of internet, phones, roads and highways is expected on Saturday.

“India has responded to our peaceful march with sheer force. But we will try to reach the venue with one million people,” Syed Ali Gillani said in an interview with Al Jazeera.

“We don’t want to sabotage Modi’s rally but we want to remind the world about 18 UN resolutions on Kashmir that promised right to self-determination to Kashmiris,” he added.

Modi will hold a public rally in the restive Himalayan territory on November 7.