The J&K government Saturday informed the Legislative Assembly that 8,587 persons including 519 juveniles were arrested in Kashmir during the last year's uprising triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani. In written reply to a Cut-Motion, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is Minister in-charge of J&K's Home department, said 8,587 "accused" were arrested during the six-month-long uprising in Kashmir. Burhan was killed in a gunfight in south Kashmir's Kokernag area on July 8.
"8,587 accused were arrested and of these 8473 have been released up to January 22, 2017," the Chief Minister said.
Mehbooba, whose government came under sharp criticism for launching a massive crackdown in Kashmir to quell the pro-freedom uprising, said 519 juveniles were among 5826 persons detained "under substantive laws during this period."
"3987 of those were in the age group of 18-30 years," the reply reads.
The age of 1320 persons detained under similar charges has not been shown in the reply. "In total, 5826 persons were detained under substantive laws during the period."
The Government also disclosed that 2761 persons were bound down (sic) and detained under different laws. Of them, 522 were detained under the controversial Public Safety Act. "522 persons were detained under the J&K Public Safety Act as on January 21, 2017 and of them 257 have been released," the Government said.
The remaining 265 are still serving detention, it said.
The Chief Minister said 2655 FIRs were lodged in Kashmir against "those indulging in violence."
To a question whether the Government would grant general amnesty to those arrested "but not involved in heinous crimes", Mehbooba said: "The Government will consider reviewing cases against first-time offenders and those not involved in any heinous crimes, subject to provision of related laws."
The Chief Minister said social media and Public Announcement Systems of Masjids were used to trigger the uprising.
"The news of Burhan Wani's killing was exploited by the inimical and unscrupulous elements to spread unrest and destabilize the situation. A malicious campaign was launched through various platforms including social media to instigate violence and disturb peace in the State," the CM said.
"Further PA Systems of Mosques were also used to raise pro-freedom/anti-national slogans and deliver inflammatory speeches to incite youth to indulge in stone-pelting/protests."