JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and hardline Kashmiri separatist leader Masarat Alam were separately detained by police on Tuesday while they were both travelling to Tral in South Kashmir where locals claimed that the youth killed by army on Monday was a civilian with no militant links.
According to sources Alam, whose release last month had created controversy, was intercepted by police and not allowed to proceed to Tral. He has been put under preventive detention.
On Monday, Army claimed to have killed a militant in encounter following which protests erupted in Tral, about 40 kilometers south of Srinagar. Many people have been injured in the clashes. One person, who was critically injured, has been shifted to SKIMS in Srinagar.
Police identified the slain person as Muhammad Khalid Wani, son of Muhammad Muzaffar of Shariefabad Tral-e-Payeen and brother of active Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani.
Police said that 'technically' the slain was not a militant, yet he had gone to meet his brother in the forests.
"Technically he was not a militant but he had gone to meet his brother. He was killed in an encounter that took place between security forces and militants," IG Kashmir, Javed Geelani told Hindustan Times.
Khalid's family, however, claimed that Khalid was arrested and later killed in custody.
Sources in police said that “a joint party of Army’s 42 and 3 Rashtriya Rifles followed them”, adding “as the militants saw army soldiers, they fled from the spot and the soldiers opened fire. As a result, Khalid was killed while three other youth (who were accompanying him) were arrested.”
However an army spokesman, based in Srinagar, claimed that Khalid was a militant.
“Consequent to recent attack by militants on the security forces, army had intensified search operations at places from where (we had) inputs about likely presence of militants. One such operation at Kamla Top forest resulted in contact being established South of Hurdu Mir area of Tral, district Pulwama."
"The militants were effectively engaged and one militant was killed. Search of the area led to recovery of the body of the slain militant, two AK 47 rifles and large quantity of war-like stores from the site. Identity of militant is yet to be ascertained,” the statement read.
Another body was recovered from the encounter site on Tuesday. Geelani identified him as Yunis Ahmad, an active militant.
Meanwhile Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani has appealed to the people of the state to reach Tral on April 17 to register their protest against the “killing of the civilians”.