SRINAGAR:  Anxious to quell anti-India protests in occupied Kashmir, Indian forces are carrying out their most severe crackdown in more than two decades against civilian protesters, arresting more than 8,000 this summer across the disputed Himalayan territory, police said Monday.

That includes 450 or so civilians being held, possibly for up to six months without trial, under a harsh security law criticized as a human rights violation. India has said the separatist rebels and civilians who help them  are undermining the country’s territorial integrity and forcing authorities to keep the India-controlled portion of Kashmir under tight control.

“This is, so far, the biggest crackdown against miscreants,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity because he was not authorized to share details of the crackdown.

For weeks, Indian authorities have carried out night time raids, rolling curfews and stops at roadblocks, but have failed to stop the attacks and angry public rallies.