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Public protests in Indian-controlled Kashmir were once an almost weekly occurrence but two years after New Delhi imposed direct rule on the region, locals say arbitrary arrests and intimidation by security forces wielding batons and snatching phones have left many too scared to voice dissent.

A week before the region’s partial autonomy was abolished, and as a massive troop deployment fanned out to help forestall a local backlash, “Rafiq” was one of thousands put in “preventative detention.”

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