Srinagar: To ensure they don’t go around campaigning for boycott of the municipal elections that begin October 8, the police have arrested several Hurriyat Conference (G) leaders and detained them in different police stations.
Sources in the Hurriyat (G) said that the police have launched a “crackdown” on their leaders and activists, so as to bar them from conducting any political activity.
Earlier this month, the Hurriyat (G) called for a total boycott of the municipal and panchayat elections, stressing that the boycott was “mandatory for the success of the Kashmir movement”.
The sources said that on Wednesday morning, police arrested Hurriyat (G) spokesperson GA Gulzar from his residence and detained him at Sher Garhi police station.
They said the police earlier arrested the amalgam’s senior leader Nisar Ahmad Rather and put him in Central Jail Srinagar. Rather, they said, was arrested by Rainawari police station last week and was later shifted to the central jail.
A Hurriyat (G) Spokesperson said that two of its members, Ashiq Hussain Narchor and Sartaj Ahmad, were arrested from their residences in Islamabad and detained at the local police station.
Besides, the amalgam’s senior leaders, Muhammad Yasin Attai, Syed Imtiyaz Haider, Bashir Ahmad Choon and Muhammad Yusuf Bhat, have been detained at Budgam police station.
A police official said that these leaders have been arrested for carrying out separatist activities in Kashmir.
Denouncing the police action, the spokesperson of the amalgam said that the arrests are an act of “sheer vengeance”.
He regretted that freedom of expression remains a distant dream in Jammu and Kashmir and such situation continues to prevail in which people are killed, maimed and incarcerated on one pretext or the other.
The spokesperson said this is just a tactic to put pressure on people and “drag them to polling booths”.
“Arrests on a large scale have divulged that this (polls) is not a democratic process but simply a drama, masterminded by government forces,” the spokesperson said.