SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, (Xinhua): More than 500 youth were arrested across Muslim majority areas of Indian-controlled Kashmir ahead of the fourth phase of Indian general elections, local police said.
The massive crackdown on youth has been taken as part of precautionary measures to ensure incident-free elections on Wednesday.
“To ensure peaceful and violence-free polling in Srinagar and around, police has been taking preventive measures and arrested around 400 stone throwers and trouble mongers in this range,” a police spokesman said.
Similar arrests have been made in areas north of Srinagar and around 60 stone-throwers have been taken into preventive custody, according to the spokesman.
The polling for the third phase of India’s general elections in Indian-controlled Kashmir’s Anantnag constituency recorded a meager turnout of 28 percent. The voting was marred by election boycott, protests and violence.
A polling staff official on election duty was killed and five others including his colleague and driver were wounded after militants attacked a vehicle on election duty at Nagbal-Zainapora in Shopian district, about 53 kilometers south of Srinagar, the region’s summer capital.
Besides, more than two dozen police and paramilitary personnel were injured in the clashes that broke out in protest of elections.
“Nobody will be allowed to disrupt the electoral process,” the spokesman said. “Police had initiated action to identify the trouble mongers and so far arrested 70 of them in areas south of Srinagar,” the spokesman said adding that the police were likely to make further arrests.
The authorities have already put separatist leaders under detention in police stations and houses.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up in Srinagar to thwart militant attempts to disrupt the elections. Elections in Srinagar parliamentary constituency are scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
The step was taken after two low intensity explosions which wounded several people at two different venues. The Indian policemen were seen frisking pedestrians and checking vehicles in and around the city.
Six members to the 543-member lower house of Indian parliament, known as Lok Sabha, will be elected in Indian-controlled Kashmir.