The Indian government has arrested at least 75 Kashmiri political leaders and activists to forestall political unrest after an alliance of Kashmir’s regional political parties won local elections, leaders and a police official said on Saturday.
The District Development Council elections, concluded early this week, were the first local polls since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government revoked the special status of the Muslim-majority region last year.
New Delhi then cracked down on the opposition and rounded up hundreds of people to preempt protests and violence.
The latest detentions, which include separatist leaders and members of the banned Jamat-e-Islami group, were for preventive custody, said a senior police official, who asked not to be identified.
But Imran Nabi Dar, spokesman for the National Conference, a regional party and a key member of the alliance, said the detentions undermine the verdict of the people.
Omar Abdullah, a former chief minister and head of the National Conference, said the alliance’s victory shows that Kashmiris have not accepted Modi’s decision to end Kashmir’s special status.