The Kashmiris detained more than 700km away from home
Kashmir Updates -BBC NEWS- 19 September, 2019
India’s federal government is believed to have detained thousands of people including activists, local politicians and businessmen in Indian-administered Kashmir since it stripped the region of its autonomy on 5 August. Many have even been moved to jails elsewhere in India. BBC Hindi’s Vineet Khare visited one such prison in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
It was a hot and sultry Friday morning in Agra, a crowded and dusty city in Uttar Pradesh that is also home to the Taj Mahal.
The occasional breeze made the weather bearable – but not for the dozen men and women from the Kashmir valley, where the temperature is around 18C in September. In Agra, it touches 35C.
The Kashmiris sat in a large waiting hall outside the imposing gate of the Agra Central Jail, and patiently waited their turn for a brief reunion with jailed family members.
Before the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government announced its decision to scrap the special status that gave Kashmir its autonomy, it put the region under lockdown – mobile phone networks, landlines and the internet were cut off; and regional political leaders were placed under house arrest.
Inside Kashmir’s lockdown: ‘Even I will pick up a gun’
Letters and landlines return to cut-off region