India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, addressed the nation Thursday night for the first time about his government’s unilateral decision to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy, speaking against a backdrop of rising protests, mass arrests and escalating tensions with Pakistan.
Mr. Modi defended the action, arguing that it would make the restive territory more secure. “A new era has begun,” he said.
But in Kashmir, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan, protests were exploding as Indian security forces, which had already cut off internet service, mobile phone calls and even land lines, clamped down harder.
More than 500 people were detained in nighttime raids across Kashmir and taken to makeshift detention centers, rights activists said. In several areas, Kashmiris pelted security officers with stones and the officers fired back, with reports that some demonstrators had been killed.