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Hurriyat leaders held under house arrest ahead of NSA talks

india Updated: Aug 20, 2015 12:12 IST
Toufiq Rashid
Toufiq Rashid
Hindustan Times
Hurriyat leaders

A combination photo of Kashmiri separatist leaders Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Yasin Malik, Syed Ali Shah Geelani. (Agencies)

Kashmiri separatist leaders who were invited by Pakistan to meet its national security advisor Sartaj Aziz when he visits India, were placed under house arrest on Thursday.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and leaders of the moderate faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Moulvi Abbas Ansari and JKLF leader Yasin Malik were among those placed under house arrest just three days ahead of the Pakistan NSA's visit to India for talks.

Authorities put up stop gates and deployed police personnel outside the houses before informing the separatist leaders not to step out.

Read: Govt warns of 'appropriate' action if Pak NSA meets Hurriyat

The steps were taken to prevent the separatists from going to Delhi to meet Sartaj Aziz, police sources told Hindustan Times on condition of anonymity.

"This is for the first time the separatist leadership is not allowed to meet Pakistan officials. We have attended receptions and meetings at the high commission in the past. The step was totally uncalled for," Hurriyat(G) spokesperson Ayaz Akbar said.

Police also raided the houses of moderate Hurriyat spokesperson Shahid Ul Islam and senior leader Javed Mir, but they were not present.

National security advisor Ajit Doval is meeting Sartaj Aziz on Sunday in New Delhi for talks on countering terror.

In a provocative act the Pakistan high commission had on Wednesday called hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for a meeting with Aziz and invited moderate separatist Kashmiri leaders including its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq for a reception on August 23.

India immediately warned against such a meeting, saying "appropriate action" will be taken.

Last July, India called off talks with Pakistan because Kashmiri separatists were invited before a meeting of foreign secretaries.


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