The Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday said that the Srinagar police detained its leaders who were trying to stage a protest against the detention of politicians, human rights violations and restrictions on media in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Police stops peaceful protest of Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party leaders against the detention of political prisoners, the harassment of youth, the gag on media and rights violations,” the party said in a tweet. “Police has now detained PDP leaders Rouf Bhat, Hamid Qousheen, Shanti Singh, Arif Laigroo and Mohd Amin.”

Srinagar’s Senior Superintendent of Police Haseeb Mughal, meanwhile, told the Hindustan Times that six people had been taken into preventive detention. “There have been no arrests, only preventive detention,” he said. “Six people were detained as they gathered amid Covid protocols which are in force.”

PDP leaders and workers had gathered at the party office near Srinagar’s Sher-e-Kashmir Park area. They demanded the release of PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and several other politicians.

Mufti’s daughter Iltija Mufti, who manages her Twitter account, also spoke out against the detention of PDP leaders. “PDP’s Hamid Kohsheen,Rauf Bhat, Arif, Harbaksh Singh, Mushtaq and Omar protesting against illegal detention of Kashmiris in and outside Jammu and Kashmir have been arrested in Srinagar,” she tweeted. “Enforced normalcy through institutionalised repression stands exposed. Peaceful protest is also sedition.”

Several political leaders in Kashmir, including Mufti, Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah, were detained after the Centre scrapped the erstwhile state’s special status under Article 370 last year.Farooq Abdullah was released on March 13 while Omar Abdullah was freed from detention on March 24. Mufti still remains in detention.