Ahead of polls, 90 youths arrested in Pulwama

Ahead of polls, 90 youths arrested in Pulwama

Arrests have nothing to do with elections: SSP
By ZIA-UL-HAQ/ BILAL HABIB   
SRINAGAR: Ahead of by polls for Anantnag parliamentary seat, police in Pulwama district has launched a major crackdown against youth, arresting at least 90 during the past two weeks.
These persons have been picked up from Naira, Kakpora, Ratnipora, Tahab and Karimabad areas of the district.
Only last night, they said, policemen carried out night raids on various houses in Muran and Kongun villages and arrested 21 one persons, including a 65-year-old man on charges of participating in stone-throwing protests.
Many of the arrested persons, who are lodged in various police stations, are students. Last week, family members of the arrested youth had demonstrated outside police station Pulwama, seeking release of their kin.
They had alleged that the police was delaying the release of their kin for unknown reasons.
A police official who wished anonymity said the arrested youths are involved in “disrupting law and order in the district”.
“We have the evidence against all of them about their involvement in stone-throwing protests. Some of them were involved in pasting posters calling for election boycott,” the police official said.
However, SSP Pulwama Muhammad Rayees, while confirming the arrest of around 90 youth, said the arrests have nothing to do with upcoming polls.
“There is no link between arrests of youth and polls. They were involved in stone pelting and were arrested after being identified through videos. We arrest only those against whom we get evidence,” the SSP told Kashmir Reader.
He said 22 FIRs involving scores of youths have been registered in several police stations.
“On the basis of these FIRs we have so far arrested 90 youths after their involvement was established,” the police officer said.
In Chawalgam area of Kulgam district, police arrested at least three youths last night. To protest the arrests of youth, a complete shutdown was observed in the area.
In this area, three PDP workers suffered injuries on Sunday after a group of youth attacked them with stones during an election meeting at the local rest house.
Polls are scheduled for Anantnag parliamentary seat, which includes four districts of the region—Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian—on April 12.

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