- Protesters included prominent women activists and leading academicians
- Centre's J&K move "a marriage by compulsion": Farooq Abdullah's sister
- Women carrying placards had gathered near Srinagar's Lal Chowk
Several women protesters, including the daughter and the sister of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, were detained in Srinagar this afternoon during protests against ending the state's special status.
Among those detained are Dr Abdullah's sister Suraiya Abdullah, his daughter Safia Abdullah Khan and Hawa Bashir, wife of former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Bashir Ahmed Khan. The protesters included prominent women activists and leading academicians.
"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 told reporters.
Women carrying placards had gathered at the Pratap Park near Srinagar's Lal Chowk. As they started protesting, the police swooped in on them and took a dozen women into preventive custody. They were taken to a nearby police station.
The women had gathered for the peaceful protest a day after postpaid mobile services on all networks in Kashmir were restored on Monday, 72 days after mobile and internet communications were blocked in the Kashmir Valley by the government.
The centre also imposed massive security restrictions and took measures that included arresting politicians, evacuating tourists, posting extra troops and blocking phone and internet lines.
Hundreds of political leaders of the state - including former Chief Ministers Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar Abdullah, as well as Mehbooba Mufti - have been placed under detention or house arrest since August as the government announced its move to end special status granted to the state under the Article 370 of the constitution and split it into two union territories.
Farooq Abdullah, 83, who had been detained at his home in Srinagar was placed under house arrest and charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA), a stringent law that enables detention without trial for three to six months.
(With inputs from IANS)
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