Ahead of Eid, Kashmir separatists put under house arrest
In a major crackdown, all the prominent Hurriyat leaders – including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq , Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed and Yasin Malik – were put under house arrest by the police besides raiding– dozens of places across the valley looking for the ground-level workers of the separatist leadership. Ashiq Hussain reports.india Updated: Aug 19, 2012 19:11 IST
All the separatists in Kashmir were swooped-upon by Jammu and Kashmir police on Saturday night which continued till Sunday, a day ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
In a major crackdown, all the prominent Hurriyat leaders – including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq , Shabbir Ahmed Shah, Nayeem Ahmed and Yasin Malik – were put under house arrest by the police besides raiding dozens of places across the valley looking for the ground-level workers of the separatist leadership.
"I am confused as to why we have been put under house arrest. I think, now the state thinks, we don’t have a right to celebrate our festivals," said chairman of Moderate Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar, who was to address people at Eidgah in old-city during Eid prayers.
"They are giving no reasons for confining us to our houses. It is unfortunate that even religious activity has been barred," the chief cleric of Jamia Masjid said.
Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Mohammad Yasin Malik was detained by police at his own house early morning on Sunday, a spokesman of the leader said. In the morning a heavy contingent of police surrounded the house of Malik 'advising him’ not to leave for anywhere
"Yasin sahib was scheduled to perform Eid prayers at Tourist Reception Ground Srinagar where he was scheduled to address a public gathering. For the past ten years he has been offering prayers at the place," said the spokesman.
"This police action is un-democratic and straight interference in our religion," the spokesman stated.
Like in the past, separatist hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani was barred from moving out of his Hyderpora residence by police.
"All the Tehreek Hurriyat leaders have been put under house arrest and the police is raiding all the district leadership to choke the freedom lovers," said Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Geelani’s Hurriyat.
"Geelani sahib was scheduled to offer his Eid prayers at Hazratbal Shrine and there was no plan of any rally or address, The fact is that National Conference, as was the norm in past, decided to use state power in order to suppress us," he said.
Newly appointed director deneral of police (DGP), Ashok Prasad has ordered all the police officers, except the division heads, not to talk to media.