Police arrested 20 activists and leaders of separatist Kashmir Salvation Movement (KSM) on Monday during a protest march in Srinagar. The KSM cadres were protesting against what they alleged as human rights violations by security forces.
Around 100 KSM activists led by their chairman Zafar Akbar Bhat surfaced at Residency Road near Press Enclave at 12.30pm on Monday. Dressed in black and with anti government banners in their hands, they raised slogans demanding halt in "human rights violations by the security forces". As the KSM activists attempted to march on the Residency Road, Police, which was already deployed in the area, came into action and arrested 20 activists including Zaffar Akbar Bhat.
The KSM chairman alleged that despite a growing friendship between India and Pakistan, security forces in Kashmir were harassing common people. "Our activists are asked to visit police and security camps every day. We don't feel safe even in our homes", he said. KSM is an outfit of former militants, who after release from jail, preferred to work on political front. He also critisised the arrest of Kashmiri students in Banglore and accused that Kashmiris were not safe anywhere in the country.
Earlier speaking in a function held to commemorate the death anniversary of Hizb commander Maqbool Ilahai, Zaffar flayed both National Conference and Peoples' Democratic Party and alleged that they were pro India parties but were trying to fool people by raising a false outcry of demilitarization and dialogue with Salahuddin. "This is an election stunt. The NC and PDP have never been sincere towards the people of Kashmir. They try to blackmail people", he alleged.
He demanded complete demilitarization in Kashmir and insisted that unless situation on ground witnesses a positive change, no formula could work.