Srinagar: Police on Thursday arrested Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, Hurriyat (M) chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and JKLF chairman Yasin Malik outside the Hyderpora residence of Geelani, where the leaders had called a press conference. The leaders were not allowed by police to address the media.
Mirwaiz and Malik arrived at Geelani’s residence but were stopped by police from entering the house. Geelani then came out of his house to meet them. Hurriyat (G) spokesman Ayaz Akbar said that police did not let Geelani meet Mirwaiz and Malik inside the house.
All the three senior leaders were later arrested and taken to Humhama police station. While the leaders were being detained, several protesters gathered outside Geelani’s residence and raised pro-freedom slogans.
Stating the elections have lost “relevance and credibility” the joint leadership lashed out at state authorities claiming the police action and restrictions on press conference proves that upcoming elections are mere “drama”. “It is not a democratic process but better to say a drama being enacted with the help of armed forces,” the party spokesperson said.
“Allow us to meet people, asked joint leadership and said that not a single person will cast their vote, while challenging state authorities .They are strangulating the legitimate voice and they and their agents will be exposed,” the leaders said.
Party spokesman Ayaz Akbar said that elections in Kashmir have lost “relevance and credibility”.
“It is not a democratic process but a drama being enacted with the help of armed forces,” Akbar said. The arrested leaders issued a statement that “these elections are being enacted to mislead the international community and India is desperate to justify its occupation and as such, these sham elections are being enacted.”
The joint leadership urged people to safeguard “sacrifices” rendered by the nation and to stay away from the parliamentary by-elections for Srinagar and Anantnag seats scheduled on April 9 and April 12, respectively.
“Through these elections they are hatching conspiracies to prolong their forced occupation. For the time being we have decided to concentrate on election boycott,” the leaders said in their statement.
“We feel it our duty to apprise our people about the deceitful political game of authorities and outcome of this election drama,” the leaders said.