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Two Hurriyat leaders arrested

Two leaders of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference have been arrested in separate raids here, official sources said.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2008 17:42 IST

In a bid to thwart a poll boycott call by separatists in Jammu and Kashmir where campaigning is on for the second phase, two leaders of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference have been arrested in separate raids here, official sources said on Thursday.

National People's Party Chairman Syed Saleem Geelani and National Front Acting Chairman Front Abdul Qayoom were arrested last night by police from Qalia Ander and Court Road here respectively, they said.

Over a dozen prominent separatists were arrested by Police and booked under Public Safety Act as part of the Government plan to thwart the anti-election campaign announced by almost all separatist organisations including both factions of Hurriyat Conference.

Strongly condemning what it called "unabated arrest and harrassment of leaders and activists", a spokesman of the Hurriyat conference said, "Such methods cannot weaken the will of Hurriyat leadership and activists."

"The arrest of Geelani and Qayoom is another attempt to break the resistance against assembly elections," he said.

The spokesman said condition of arrested leader and chairman of Salvation Front Zaffar Akbar Bhat is "serious" as he had to undergo an emergency operation at a private nursing home.

Bhat was arrested in an injured condition from his office at Channapora locality on November 16, a day ahead of the first phase of polling.