In crackdown in Kashmir, JLKF chief Yasin Malik, Jamaat leaders detained
The detentions came just over a week after the Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy.
Police detained Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front chief Yasin Malik and dozens of Jamaat-e-Islami members including its chief Abdul Hamid Fayaz, Friday night.
The arrests came as the Centre deployed an additional 100 companies of paramilitary forces in Kashmir valley, just over a week after the Pulwama terror attack killed 40 CRPF troopers in Pulwama.
About two dozen people associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami were arrested from central, north and south Kashmir as part of a crackdown after the terror attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 troopers in Pulwama on February 14.
Police have so far not commented on the detentions.
The Jamaat-e-Islami termed the move a “well-designed conspiracy to pave way for further uncertainty in the region”.
“During the intervening night of 22-23 February, 2019 police and other forces agencies launched mass arrest drive and raided many houses in the Valley wherein dozens of its central and district level leaders have been arrested,” it said in a statement.
Those detained included its chief (Ameer Jama’at) Dr Abdul Hamid Fayaz, Advocate Zahid Ali (spokesperson), Ghulam Qadir Lone (former secretary general) and dozens more, it said.
Former chief minister and Peoples’ Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti criticised the arrests saying, “You can imprison a person but not his ideas.”
Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq described the arrests as illegal and coercive.
“Strongly Condemn the nocturnal crackdown on Jamat e Islami leadership and cadres and the arrest of Yasin Malik. Such illegal and coercive measures against Kashmiri’s are futile and will not change realities on ground. Force and intimidation will only worsen the situation,” he wrote on Twitter.
Former chief minister and Peoples’ Democratic Party chief Mehbooba Mufti also criticised the arrests saying, “You can imprison a person but not his ideas.”
Police and paramilitary forces have been put on high alert but there was no confirmation about any more detentions.
Earlier this week, the government withdrew the security cover of separatist leaders in Kashmir.