Hurriyat Under Increasing Pressure
SRINAGAR: Ahead of their plans to court arrest in the national capital against the raids on separatist leaders by the National Investigations Agency, authorities today placed moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house-arrest, even as the agency raided the house of another senior Hurriyat leader.
An aide of Mirwaiz said a posse of policemen led by a middle-rung police officer arrived at the residence of the chief cleric of Kashmir and told him that he has been placed under house-arrest, "They didn't specify any reason for the arrest," the aide said.
The arrest comes a day after Mirwaiz, along with veteran separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani and JKLF chief Yasin Malik, announced to march to the NIA headquarter in New Delhi and court arrest there. Sources in the police, however, said the separatists will be barred from leaving the state.
In a joint press conference yesterday, the trio had denounced the raids on Hurriyat leaders and separatist sympathisers as a "witch-hunt" in line with New Delhi's policy of "coercion, defamation and intimidation” in Kashmir as it “does not want to address the actual issue."
“We will leave for Delhi on September 9. NIA has already arrested seven Hurriyat leaders and a businessman. They first sought 10-day remand and then extended it to 20 days but no substantial evidence has been recovered by the NIA to what it claims as 'terror funding',” Geelani said, addressing the presser over phone.
In his address, Mirwaiz said New Delhi wants to change the narrative on Kashmir using "diversionary tactics and propaganda" to “defame and malign the leadership through personal attack on their integrity, by spreading vicious lies about them and distorting and manipulating facts to create disillusionment among the masses.”
“Vicious and consistent propaganda through media especially electronic and social media; each day media trials are conducted and Kashmiri movement ridiculed while leadership is abused and Kashmiris humiliated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NIA sleuths today raided the residence of a senior leader of Geelani-led Hurriyat. Sources said NIA sleuths, accompanied by J&K policemen, raided the house of Agha Hassan, who is also head of Anjuman-e-Sharie-Shiaan, today morning.
Seven separatist leaders, a businessman and a youth, including a photojournalist working with a leading local daily, have so far been arrested by the central probe agency in the 'terror funding case'.