Srinagar Mayor Junaid Azim Mattu was on Tuesday placed under house arrest by the Indian government after he openly criticized the August 5 decision of New Delhi to repeal the constitutional autonomy of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IoK).
According to a report by Indian news publication The Quint, Mattu was detained after returning from New Delhi where he had been getting medical treatment. India had restricted Mattu from traveling to IoK in the aftermath of the strong public reaction to the August 5 decision.
Earlier this week, while being interviewed by Indian channel NDTV, Mattu had voiced strict opposition to the stripping of autonomy for IoK, claiming that his party, the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, would soon challenge the decision made by Indian PM Modi.
Mattu was quoted as saying, “we have consulted senior-most constitutional experts and luminaries and will be contesting the decision in the Supreme Court. Our party chairman, before his arrest, had appealed to the people of Kashmir to remain calm and not resort to violence.”
Mattu also claimed that contrary to the claims of the government of Indian PM Modi, everything was not normal in IoK. “The communications blackout has created a situation where specifics are speculative. It is safe to assume the ground situation is not anywhere near normal,” he said.
The valley which has been under a curfew since August 5, remains cut off from the rest of the world due to the continued blockade and suspension of internet, mobile and landline phones and closure of TV channels.