Police on Friday foiled a protest march called by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) to the office UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) here in Sonwar by imposing curbs on movement of people and detaining the separatist leaders.
The JRL had called for the march from all parts of Srinagar to the high-security Sonwar area where UNMOGIP is based. The roads leading to Sonwar were sealed off with heavy deployment of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the vehicular and pedestrian movement was blocked.
The Friday congregation near a shrine in Sonwar was also disallowed by the authorities fearing that the devotees might march to the nearby UN office. Separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabir Ahmed Shah, Aga Syed Hasan and others were placed under house arrest.
Government forces had sealed all the roads leading towards UN office while city centre Lal Chowk had also been barricaded and vehicular movement was disallowed. Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Chief Yasin Malik was also detained after he tried to march towards the UN office in Sonwar as part of the joint resistance programme. Witnesses said that policemen detained Malik after he came out of Buchwara Jamia Masjid after offering congregational Friday prayers. Malik had gone into hiding to prevent his arrest since yesterday morning. Last evening, police had raided his Abi Guzar office to arrest him.
A JKLF spokesman said in a statement that among those arrested along with Yasin Malik included JKLF vice chairman Mushtaq Ajmal, senior leader Zahoor Ahmad Butt, Zonal organizer Bashir Ahmad Kashmiri and senior members Ghulam Muhammad Dar, Imtiyaz Ahmad Ganaie, Fayaz Ahmad Lone, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah and Basharat Ahmad. A civilian passerby Ghulam Sarwar Wani from Dalgate was also arrested by the police.
JKLF senior member Muhammad Ishaaq Malik was also detained by police in Kokernagh early today. Spokesman said that to lead today’s protest program, Malik had gone into hiding as police yesterday raided the JKLF office also to arrest him. “Imposition of stringent curfew, barricades, and razor wire placed on every road leading towards Lal Chowk, UN office and virtually sealing the whole areas failed to deter Yasin and others who managed to reach Buchwara Dalgate despite these harsh measures,” spokesman said.