Complete shutdown in Valley, Malik sent to Srinagar Central Jail
Srinagar: Amid a complete shutdown observed in Kashmir on Sunday, the government imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar and arrested pro-freedom leaders to foil the march of the joint resistance leadership (JRL) towards the office of the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) at Sonwar here.
The JRL comprising Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Mohammad Yasin Malik had called for the march on the occasion of International Human Rights Day and the leaders were to submit a memorandum at UNMOGIP.
The government had already detained Geelani and Mirwaiz at their homes while Malik had gone into hiding to evade arrest. Malik appeared in Maisuma today afternoon from where he attempted to take out the proposed march but was arrested by government forces.
In downtown areas, forces were deployed early in the morning to restrict public movement. Concertina wires were laid across roads at several places and police erected bunkers on the roads leading to UNMOGIP. Media persons complained that they were not allowed to move beyond Dalgate and the Radio Kashmir crossing near Abdullah Bridge.
Even the traditional Sunday market was closed as heavy deployment of men in uniform was made to thwart any movement towards the UN office.
Public traffic was off the roads and business establishments were closed in the city throughout the day. Reports of a complete shutdown came also from other Kashmir districts. However, reports said that mild traffic was plying on the roads in most districts.
At about 1pm, Malik along with Rameez Raja, Farooq Ahmad Sodagar, Shabir Ahmad Dar, Mushtaq Ahmad Ajmal, Mohammad Rafiq Shah, Zahoor Ahmad Butt, Bashir Ahmad Kashmiri and Ghulam Muhammad Dar appeared in Maisuma to lead the protest march towards the UN office but police bundled all of them in a vehicle. They were taken to Srinagar’s Central Jail on judicial remand till December 16. While they were being taken, the leaders held up placards carrying slogans calling for the intervention of international community on “human rights abuses” in Jammu & Kashmir. Malik also read out the memorandum prepared by the resistance leadership which was to be submitted to the UNMOGIP.
Prior to his arrest, Malik told media persons, “Today the civilised world is celebrating International Human Rights Day but in Kashmir, the so-called biggest democracy has chosen to choke every voice of dissent and every peaceful programme on human rights.”
The government forces had earlier placed under house arrest several pro-freedom leaders including Agha Syed Hassan Almoosvi, Molvi Bashir Irfani and Muhammad Ashraf Laya.
Police had arrested Syed Imtiyaz Hyder, Muhammad Yaseen Attai, Muhammad Yousuf Bhat, Sheikh Abdul Rashid, Imtiyaz Ahmad Shah and Muhammad Yousuf Naqash and lodged them in police stations.
In Lal Chowk, members of the Association of Persons of Disappeared Persons (APDP) held a protest seeking whereabouts of their disappeared kith and kin. Led by Parveena Ahangar, the protestors demanded justice to the victims’ families. The APDP members also released their yearly calendar for 2018.
At Jawahar Nagar, legislator Engineer Rasheed led a protest march of his workers seeking resolution of the Kashmir dispute.