Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on Article 35A of the Constitution on Monday (25 February), a number of significant decisions have been taken by the centre in the Kashmir Valley, with the leader of the separatist outfit Jammu Kashmir Liberation Force (JKLF), Yasin Malik, being taken into custody and 100 additional companies of paramilitary soldiers being deployed to the state, reports The Indian Express.
Furthermore, in a large-scale crackdown on the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), a number of its cadres were also picked up by authorities.
The former chief minister of the state and leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti criticised the arrest of Malik, calling it an ‘arbitrary move’.
“In the past 24 hours, Hurriyat leaders and workers of Jamaat organisation have been arrested. Fail to understand such an arbitrary move which will only precipitate matters in J&K. Under what legal grounds are their arrests justified? You can imprison a person but not his ideas,” she tweeted.
This flurry of activity comes just two days after the government withdrew security cover from 18 Hurriyat leaders and 150 others, freeing up an extra 1000 men for ordinary police work.
The Supreme Court will be hearing a number of petitions clubbed together on Monday, with the petitioners challenging Article 35A which creates a distinction in privileges and rights between permanent residents of Jammu & Kashmir and non-resident Indian citizens.
This series of major developments began in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack on a CRPF convoy, in which 40 soldiers were martyred.