Police foils Shopian march; arrest Geelani
Police today foiled separatists plan to march to Shopian by arresting Chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and extending house arrest of other Hurriyat leaders including chairman of rival faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.Updated: May 30, 2010 19:17 IST
Police on Sunday foiled separatists plan to march to Shopian by arresting Chairman of hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Shah Geelani and extending house arrest of other Hurriyat leaders including chairman of rival faction Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.
Geelani, who was under preventive custody in Humhama police station since Friday, was on Sunday arrested and shifted to Srinagar Central jail, police sources said.
They said the step was taken as they were apprehending breach of peace during "Shopian Chaloo (March to Shopian)", called by Geelani and supported by other separatists outfits.
Mirwaiz and other moderate leaders who have been placed under house arrest since Friday evening following a strike call given by separatists against the visit of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi to Jammu continue to remain in confinement.
Police and paramilitary contingents remained outside the residences of Mirwaiz and other leaders like Syed Saleem Geelani and Zaffar Akbar Bhat for the second successive day today to prevent them from visiting Shopian, the sources said.
However, Chairperson of women separatist organisation, "Dukhtarian-e-Millat" Syeda Asiya Andrabi, gave a slip to the police and reached Shopian, 55 kms from here, to join the protest organized by local organisation Majlis-e-Masharawat(MEM) in connection with the first anniversary of alleged rape and murder of two women on this day last year.
17-year-old Aisya and her 22-year-old sister-in-law Neelofar were found murdered on this day in Shopian last year, which had sparked massive protests throughout the valley.
Shopian district observed a complete strike for 47 days.
In view of "Shopian chaloo" call, life remained disrupted in most parts of the valley including Srinagar where shops and business establishments remained closed and traffic off the roads.
Stray incidents of stone pelting by groups of youth were reported from old city areas especially Kawdara, Bohrikadal,Sarafkadal and Rajourikadal and adjoining areas.
However, no one was injured in clashes between stone pelting youths and law enforcing agencies,police said.
First Published: May 30, 2010 19:13 IST