Senior CPI (M) leader Muhammad Yusuf Tarigami Friday said rampant and arbitrary arrests of people, especially youth since August last year were undemocratic and violate civil liberties of the people.
"Such suppressive measures to contain dissent add to the already deepened levels of alienation among the larger sections the people," Tarigami said in a statement.
He said Public Safety Act (PSA) was being misused in Kashmir and in some cases common people were being kept in police stations for days together without any FIRs.
"Arrests under UAPA have become a norm and the law is being misused. It has affected hundreds of youth against whom cases have been registered. The draconian law has created widespread helplessness among the youth," he said.
Tarigami said majority of habeas corpus petitions filed with Jammu and Kashmir High Court since the scrapping of Article 370 in August last year had remained pending.
"Arrests without any solid legal grounds do not augur well for J&K. It has been done before as well, but it has never yielded anything," he said. "On the other hand, it just exacerbates the anger and gives rise to further uncertainty. We have always maintained that dissent should always have a place in a democratic society. Curbing the dissent and those holding a contradictory viewpoint is not democratic at all."
Tarigami said they were hopeful that the Supreme Court would come to the rescue of hundreds of people, who had been arbitrarily jailed by the authorities in J&K since August 2019.