Kashmiri separatist leaders still under house arrest

August 6th, 2011 - 5:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Aug 6 (IANS) Most Kashmiri separatist leaders remained under house arrest here for the second consecutive day Saturday, with the authorities not allowing media persons to enter the uptown residence of hardliner Syed Ali Geelani, who had called a press conference.

Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, Shabir Shah, chief of the Democratic Freedom Party and Muhammad Nayeem Khan, chief of Nationalist Front also continued to be detained by the police within their houses in summer capital Srinagar.

“Geelani Sahib has been under house arrest since July 27, ever since he came back from Delhi. This is an undemocratic step and we condemn it. The government is denying us the democratic space to carry out political activities and this could have serious repercussions,” warned Ayaz Akbar, the spokesman of Geelani-led breakaway Hurriyat group.

Separatists had called for peaceful protests after the Friday prayers. There were sporadic incidents of violence in old city areas of Srinagar city, in north Kashmir’s Sopore town and in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town after the prayers Friday.

The protests had been called against the death of Zamin Rashid alias Anjum, a 26-year-old Sopore man who died in police custody July 31.

The government has suspended three policemen who were posted at the special operations group (SOG) camp in Sopore when the death occurred.

Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has promised stern action against the guilty.

“They must be made an example of,” he told media persons immediately after the incident.

Despite the official promises, the separatists have been agitating for speedy action in the matter. A first information report (FIR) under Section 302 (murder) has already been registered, and a magisterial probe ordered. Besides, a special investigating team (SIT) is also investigating the case.

“Separatists and even some of our friends in the mainstream camp are trying to do dirty politics over the unfortunate incident.

“We are committed to bringing the guilty to justice and nobody, however influential or powerful, would be spared once found involved in the murder,” a senior minister of the ruling National Conference party told IANS here.

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