'In National Interest': Govt Says Over 5,000 Kashmiris Were Detained After Centre's Article 370 Move


New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Wednesday said that over 5,000 people were taken into preventive detention after the Centre on August 5 scrapped Article 370 which accorded special status to J&K.

Reddy also said there was a false propaganda about Jammu & Kashmir's situation. Only 609 people were detained, 151 more from the 458 figure of 2018, he said.

"There has been an incorrect propaganda going on that thousands of people are in custody. Only 151 more than last year are in jail. As of August 5, a total of 5,161 people, including stone throwers, separatists, political leaders, were put under preventive custody," Reddy said, adding that a review committee has been formed which would look into release of detainees from time to time.

Replying to a question on Srinagar MP Farooq Abdullah’s attendance in the winter session of the Parliament, Reddy argued that Abdullah, former J&K chief minister, had been detained in national interest.

"People have been arrested in national interest from time to time. During Emergency, you people arrested 36 MPs just to save one person’s chair. People have been detained for national interest, to maintain law and order," Reddy said in a dig at the Congress.

Reddy said some measures have to be from taken time to time in the interest of the country.

When Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also raised the issue, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said, "You have not raised questions about the member of this House. You have raised a general question... What is in the interest of the country or not will be decided by the appropriate authorities."

Home Minister Amit Shah, who was in the House, said he wanted to place facts before the country as there was a false propaganda that thousands were arrested and human rights were being violated since the abrogation of Article 370 provisions on August 5.

However, Naidu adjourned the House till 2 pm.

"Normal situation will be restored shortly. On August 5, 5161 preventive arrests were made including stone throwers, separatists and some political leaders. We have released some. Advisory Board is being constituted. We will review it time to time and release people," he said.

(With PTI inputs)