Malik detained again as protests paralyse Kashmir

June 5th, 2009 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, June 5 (IANS) A mob marched to the house of detained separatist leader Yasin Malik here and freed him before the police arrested him again Friday on the fifth day of violent protests across the Kashmir Valley over the alleged rape and murder of two women.
Malik, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), had been held under house arrest for the past week.

As fresh trouble erupted Friday, a large number of people protesting against the deaths of the women in south Kashmir’s Shopian town a week ago marched to Malik’s uptown Maisuma house in Srinagar shouting slogans.

In no time Malik was brought out of the house. Perched on the shoulders of a few, the JKLF chief then led the demonstrators shouting anti-India slogans.

But the police managed to take him into custody along with a few of his supporters.

As angry young men took to the streets hurtling rocks at security forces after Friday prayers in several towns, police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel used teargas and batons to disperse them, a police official said.

In some places, both demonstrators and security forces hurled stones at one another. At least 20 people, including five policemen, were reportedly injured.

Tension is running high in Srinagar following the death of a 25-year old youth Thursday after he was hit by a teargas shell during protests in the Barzalla locality.

Reports from Baramulla, Sopore, Kupwara, Anantnag, Pulwama, Tral and other towns spoke of protests after the Friday prayers.

For the fifth day in running, life across the Kashmir Valley was paralysed in view of a shutdown called by hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Geelani against the alleged rape and murder of the two women.

Shops, businesses, government offices, banks and educational institutions were shut and vehicles went off the roads.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has vowed to “dig out the truth” about the death of women.

He said the victims, Neloofar and Asiya, were “like his sisters and he as a brother feels the pain of the tragedy that has befallen the family”.

The chief minister said he would not rest till he finds out “the truth behind their mysterious deaths”.

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