Valley's head cleric and separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was arrested on Tuesday as he tried to march to curfew-bound Shopian town in south Kashmir.
An indefinite curfew is in its 11th day in the town to prevent violence after the killing of four youths by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on September 7. While the CRPF maintained that the youth were militants, locals insisted that they had no terror links. A protester was killed on September 11, further roiling the situation.
"We had a meeting at our headquarters and, after that, we tried to proceed to Shopian as we have information that people have run out of essential supplies. Local 'imans' have tried to contact us and people are calling us, saying eatables are not available to residents there," Mirwaiz Umar said.
"The residents are under curfew for the past 11 days and this is high-handedness of the government. No one is even allowed to mourn the dead in this place now," he said.
The Mirwaiz threatened the government that he, along with the public, would march to the town if curfew continued. "Today, we tried going alone but, tomorrow, we will ask people to join us," the Mirwaiz said.
Meanwhile, hardline Hurriyat chairperson Syed Ali Shah Geelani has scaled protests for this week over the killings. A complete shutdown will be observed on September 21, while Geelani has asked people to march to the United Nation's office in the city centre to submit a memorandum for UN secretary general Ban-Ki Moon and "apprise him of the killing of innocent civilians in Kashmir".