India/Jammu & Kashmir: Kashmiri Lawyer, Who Encouraged People to Vote, Detained to Prevent Protests

August 31, 2019

Kashmiri Lawyer, Who Encouraged People to Vote, Detained to Prevent Protests

A former president of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHCBA) was detained under the Public Safety Act after the revocation of Article 370 because, among other things, he had the ability to convince people to vote even during poll boycotts, documents accessed by The Wireshow.

After the government of India revoked the special status afforded to Jammu and Kashmir, security agencies launched a massive crackdown to arrest politicians, businessmen, lawyers and young Kashmiris fearing they could initiate mass protests.

Among those arrested was former KHCBA president Nazir Ahmed Ronga. According to a lawyer who is part of the association, Ronga was arrested on August 4, a day before the Government of India changed the constitutional relationship of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India.

Ronga was booked under the controversial Public Safety Act (PSA) under which a person can be jailed for six months without a trial. One of the charges levelled against Ronga, in the PSA dossier accessed by The Wire, talks about his potential to mobilise people to participate in voting even when a boycott was called.

“Your capacity can be gauged from this fact that you were able to convince your electorate to come out and vote in huge numbers during poll boycotts,” reads the dossier.

The lawyer, who wished not to be named, in a caustic comment, said, “Even persuading people to vote and participate in democracy is a crime in Kashmir nowadays.”

The mass arrests in Kashmir have left even lawyers petrified. Hardly any member of the bar turns up in the courts and those who do prefer not to speak on the arrest of lawyers.

Over 4500 arrested in occupied Kashmir since Aug 5–facing-arrests-in-kashmir

27th day of tyrannical curfew in IoK, civilians dragged back to stone age

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