Kashmir Police Say Thousands Detained in Status-Change Sweep

Kashmiri men play a board game at a closed market during security restrictions in Srinagar, Indian controlled Kashmir. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

Authorities say thousands of people, mostly young male protesters, have been arrested and detained in Indian-administered Kashmir amid an ongoing communications blackout and security lockdown imposed more than two weeks ago to curtail civil unrest after a change to Kashmir’s decades-old special status.

According to three high-ranking Kashmir police officials and arrest statistics shared with The Associated Press on Tuesday, at least 2,300 people have been detained in jails and other facilities in the Himalayan valley. The officials spoke anonymously fearing punishment from superiors.

The latest crackdown began this month, just before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist-led government stripped Kashmir of its semi-autonomy and its statehood, creating two federal territories.

A Central Reserve Police Force spokesman told the AP that he didn’t know how many people have been detained.