To thwart any attempt to create law and order problem during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Tuesday visit to Kashmir, the authorities have placed several separatists, civil society members and mainstream leader under house arrest.
A spokesman of Hardline Hurriyat faction alleged that six senior separatist workers in south and north Kashmir have been called to police stations on Monday. Besides, a number of former militants' have been put under constant surveillance. "The police are creating terror in the state by rampant arrest spree of political activists," said Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar.
Describing the authorities' move to clampdown on separatists as "bafflement and frustration," Geelani said, "Arresting the party workers on the Prime Minister's proposed visit is unconstitutional and unjustified." He alleged that "restrictions on movement of pedestrians have added to miseries and agonies".
Sources said the authorities are planning to keep a close eye on the movement of senior separatist leaders like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Yasin Malik - who have all called for a shutdown to mark protest against PM's visit.
The government has decided to even take mainstream leaders to task to avoid any law and order problem during the PM's visit, scheduled for June 25. Independent MLA and chief of the recently-formed mainstream political party Awami Ittihaad Party (AIP) Engineer Rashid has been placed under house arrest.
He had threatened to carry out a protest march against "the failure of government of India to take initiatives to resolve the political dispute of Jammu and Kashmir". "Such hard and tough measures will bear no results and will not disallow the AIP and the people of Jammu and Kashmir to succumb under the state terror," said AIP spokesman Showkat Nadvi. The party spokesman claimed Rashid was invited to attend a function at Kishtwar, which is to be presided by Manmohan Singh.
Medical Employees' Joint Action Forum chairman Dr Nisar-ul-Hasan, who had asked doctors and paramedics across the Valley to observe June 25 as 'black day' to protest against the spurious drug scam, has also been arrested.