MUFTI'S 'HEALING TOUCH': HURRIYAT LEADERS JAILED BEFORE RALLY
Jail for Protest
SRINAGAR: All the prominent Hurriyat leaders in Kashmir Valley have been detained to foil the joint rally to Srinagar's Martyr's Graveyard for commemorating the July 13 Massacre in 1931 by Dogra rulers.
Officials said the Hurriyat leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq were put under house-arrest along with JKLF chief Yasin Malik, AJKH chairman, Shabir Ahmad Shah and JKNF chief, Nayeem Khan.
Many other middle-rung pro-freedom leaders have also been detained, they said.
A senior J&K Police officer said the summer capital, particularly areas in old city that fall under seven police stations, will be put under restrictions to prevent "law and order problems" that may arise out of the planned rally.
"Heavy deployment of police and paramilitary troopers will be made in old city areas as well as Lal Chowk to prevent any law and order problem," the officer said.
Geelani's spokesperson, Ayaz Akbar, said the octogenarian leader has been put under house arrest while the amalgam's general secretary, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, is "critically-ill".
“Police carried out raids during which many senior and middle-rung leaders were either detained or put under house-arrest to foil the rally. However, we will still march to Mazaar-e-Shohda in order to commemorate the Martyrs of 1931,” he said.
Moderate Hurriyat spokesperson, Shahid-Ul-Islam, said the Valley’s chief cleric was put under house arrest around Sehri time on Sunday. "A large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers have been deployed outside the Nigeen residence of Mirwaiz to foil the rally," he said.
A senior JKLF leader said their chairman Yasin Malik was put under house arrest too on Saturday evening and many other senior leaders have been detained as well.
The Hurriyat leaders had put up a joint face Saturday evening at Geelani’s residence where they broke fast together and later passed a resolution, condemning the state government led by chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.
The leaders had threatened to launch an agitation if the government doesn't stop the "atrocities" committed against the people of the state.
The joint rally to commemorate the Martyrs of 1931 was called by Mirwaiz, in what is being seen as an attempt to unite the disarrayed Hurriyat Conference that suffered a split in 2002.
The split had led to the formation of two factions, each led by Geelani and Mirwaiz, while Shah broke away from Mirwaiz's faction and floated his own Hurriyat last year.
The Hurriyat's 'unification' holds significance in the backdrop of warming up of relations between India and Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, in Ufa, Russian, following which an important joint statement was issued, calling for resumption of talks between the two countries along with other measures.
The joint statement had skipped mentioning Kashmir issue, which caused a huge uproar in Pakistan where the opposition accused Sharif of doing a sell-out before New Delhi.