Shah Faesal: India detains Kashmir politician at airport

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Media captionWATCH: PM Modi ‘murdering the constitution’

A well-known bureaucrat-turned-politician from Indian-administered Kashmir has been arrested in Delhi and sent back to the region, reports say.

Shah Faesal was detained at Delhi airport on Wednesday as he tried to board a flight.

He joins the hundreds of Kashmiri leaders who have been detained across the region.

Most of the arrests were made ahead of India's decision to revoke Kashmir's special status last week.

Indian authorities say the crackdown is necessary to prevent disorder in the disputed region.

Pakistan has reacted angrily to India's decision to revoke Article 370 - the constitutional provision guaranteeing Kashmir's special status - on 5 August.

Its Prime Minister, Imran Khan, said global powers would be responsible for any war over Kashmir, for failing to implement UN resolutions.

Mr Khan, speaking in Pakistani-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, accused India of planning military action in the region, calling it a "horrendous plan".

In a stern warning to India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Khan said: "Your bricks will be reciprocated with stones."

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Image caption Imran Khan addressed the Azad Kashmir parliament on Pakistan's 72nd Independence Day

The PTI news agency quoted Indian officials as saying that Mr Faesal had been arrested on Wednesday at the international airport in Delhi as he was trying to board a flight to Turkey.

There is no clarity on where he has been taken in Indian-administered Kashmir but some local media have said he has been placed under house arrest. The BBC has not been able to independently verify this.

Speaking to the BBC's Hardtalk programme on Tuesday, Mr Faesal said he was apprehensive about being detained.

"I'm ashamed of myself that I'm free at a time when the entire leadership of Kashmir is in jail," he said.

Mr Faesal said that by revoking special status for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr Modi had "murdered the constitution in broad daylight".

However, the Indian government says it has acted in accordance with the constitution and all protocols have been followed.

Mr Faesal made headlines when he topped India's notoriously difficult civil services examination in 2009, becoming the first Kashmiri to do so.

He resigned from his government post in January to launch his own political party - the Jammu and Kashmir People's Movement.

Hundreds of people have already been detained in the region after the Indian government scrapped provisions that gave Kashmir more autonomy.

They include politicians, activists, academics and business leaders.

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Media captionThe Indian government has said this protest last weekend never took place

The region has been in lockdown for more than a week now, with mobile, landline and internet networks cut off and curfew-like restrictions that ban people from assembling in crowds. However, officials said on Wednesday that these restrictions had now been eased in the Hindu-majority Jammu region.

Despite the lockdown there have been protests against the revocation of Article 370, including one on Friday in Srinagar in the Muslim-majority valley. It involved thousands of people coming out after midday prayers to demonstrate against the move.

India's government says the removal of special status will allow Kashmiris to benefit from greater economic opportunities and development. It has also defended its move by saying that Article 370 fuelled terrorism and separatism in Indian-administered Kashmir, which has been the site of an insurgency for three decades.

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