Hundreds of people were detained in Jammu and Kashmir ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit and many of them were charged under the Public Safety Act, according to media reports.

The Hindu reported on Friday that around 700 people were detained in the Union Territory, while The Indian Express put the number of detentions at 900 in its report published on Sunday.

Shah arrived for a three-day visit in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. Security was tightened in the Union Territory in preparation of his visit, with drones and motorboats of the Central Reserve Police Force used to secure operation.

Among those detained were identified by authorities as stone-pelters or relatives of militants, according to The Indian Express.

Many of those detained were also charged under the Public Safety Act. In the last week alone, about 50 people have been booked under the Act, The Indian Express reported.

Under the Act, individuals can be detained without trials for up to two years if they are charged with being a threat to national security, or up to one year if they are booked for the “maintenance of law and order”.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti criticised the action. “Many [were] shifted to jails outside Kashmir,” she tweeted on Saturday. “ Such oppressive steps further vitiate an already tense atmosphere. ‘Normalcy acrobatics’ are in full swing while reality is denied and obfuscated.”

This is the first time Shah is visiting Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre scrapped the former state’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution and split it into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019.

Shah, while addressing the representatives of youth clubs in the Union Territory on Saturday, said the restrictions were a “bitter pill that saved many lives”, The Hindu reported.

“In the past 70 years, why more than 40,000 people including security forces were killed in J&K?” he said . [Prime Minister Narendra Modi] Modi ji has always been concerned about J&K, it is his priority. In the long run, many lives were saved.”

On Sunday, the home minister is scheduled to inaugurate a campus of the Indian Institute of Technology and several other projects in Jammu, according to ANI. He will also meet Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.