Several women, including the sister and daughter of former chief minister Farooq Abdullah, were detained in Srinagar on Tuesday during a protest against the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories, PTI reported.
Abdullah’s sister Suraiya and his daughter Safiya, who were leading a group of women activists, were detained by the police.
PTI reported that the women protesters were not allowed by the police personnel to assemble and were asked to disperse peacefully. The protesters, the report added, refused to disperse and tried to stage a sit-in.
Meanwhile, Iltija Mufti tweeted from former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s account that the women were detained “for peacefully protesting abrogation of Article 370”.
Reporting for Scroll, Safwat Zargar said the protestors had initially tried to hold a demonstration at Pratap Park near Lal Chowk, but were denied permission. They then gathered on the road outside the park. Female constables detained the protesters, who were taken away in police vehicles.
“On August 5, we were locked inside our homes and Article 370 was abrogated. This is a marriage by compulsion which won’t work,” Suraiya Abdullah was quoted as saying by NDTV.
“We the women of Kashmir disapprove the unilateral decision taken by the government of India to revoke Article 370, 35A and downgrade and split the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” a statement by the protesters said.
The women demanded restoration of civil liberties and fundamental rights of the citizens, reported PTI.
The women can be seen holding placards which read “don’t deceive Indians”, “respect fundamental rights” and “Kashmiri brides not for sale”.
After the abrogation of Article 370 on 5 August, Piyasree Dasgupta of Huffpost India had reported how TikTok was “full of slightly desperate Hindu men asserting ‘victory’ by claiming they can now ‘get girls’ from Kashmir.” Similar content, she said, had started surfacing on Facebook and Twitter.
There was no bar on marrying Kashmiri men or women even before the decision on Article 370. However, the children of women who married non-Kashmiris would not inherit property in Kashmir under its old laws.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s remarks had also sparked a controversy. “Some people are now saying that as Kashmir is open, brides will be brought from there,” he had said.
(With PTI inputs)