Hurriyat 'Sopore Chalo' March Foiled, Leaders Held
Hurriyat leaders held
SRINAGAR: Ahead of the march to the restive Sopore where unknown gunmen have unleashed a reign of terror, top Hurriyat leaders were stopped by authorities from visiting the town.
The Hurriyat had called for 'Sopore Chalo' on Friday to express solidarity with the people of the north Kashmir where unknown gunmen have shot dead six persons in last three weeks.
A senior Jammu and Kashmir Police officer said Tehreek-e-Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Geelani has been put under house arrest since last week while moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq too has been restricted to his home in Srinagar.
"Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai and Ayaz Akbar have put either detained at police stations or put under house arrest to foil the march. JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik was arrested from Chadoora last night and later shifted to Kothibagh police station here," the officer said.
Authorities have also imposed restrictions in several parts of Kashmir Valley on Friday including some parts of the capital Srinagar and certain towns in north Kashmir like Baramulla, Sopore, Pattan where prohibitory orders have been enforced on public gatherings.
"Restrictions may also be imposed in south Kashmir towns like Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag if the situation demands," the officer said.
The march to Sopore was called by both factions of Hurriyat and it was supported by JKLF, National Front and JKHC. The parties had announced to lead a joint delegation to Sopore to express solidarity with the families of those killed by gunmen since May 22 this year.
Moderate Hurriyat condemned the house arrest of its chairman but vowed to go ahead with the visit to Sopore town. "We will take out the march despite the illegal detention of our chairman," moderate Hurriyat spokesperson, Shahid-ul-Islam said.
Unknown gunmen have shot dead six persons, including separatist activists and former militants, in Sopore town over the past three weeks, sparking fear and anguish among the residents.
Police has announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for information leading to arrest of two suspects believed to be behind the killings who have been identified as Abdul Qayoom Najar and Imtiyaz Ahmad Kandoo, both residents of Sopore.