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Mehbooba Mufti criticizes arrest of people for holding anti-Israel protest

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Srinagar: PDP president Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday criticised the arrest of people for holding protests against Israel over the Middle-East conflict during a corona curfew in the Union Territory.

“People all over the world are protesting against the atrocities committed by Israel on Palestine. But in Kashmir it’s a punishable offence where an artist is booked under PSA & a preacher is arrested simply for expressing solidarity with Palestinians,” she alleged on Twitter.

On Saturday, police arrested 21 persons from Srinagar and Shopian districts for holding pro-Palestine protests during a curfew imposed in the UT due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The police also arrested a South Kashmir-based religious preacher Sarjan Barkati for allegedly delivering an inflammatory speech on Eid day. Barkati had expressed support for the people of Palestine.

The PDP leader alleged that Kashmir is an open-air prison” and “there is no outlet left to express one’s opinion”.

The PDP president, while referring to the detention of two sons of late separatist leader Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, said the Public Safety Act (PSA) was the Centre’s “go-to method for every problem” in Kashmir.

The two were detained from their residence in Barzulla area of the city late Saturday evening in connection with a case registered by police in Kupwara district on May 6 after pro-freedom slogans were raised at the separatist leader’s funeral, officials said.

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